Star Knowledge

 
 

The Winter Triangle
 

 
  Procyon, Betelgeuse and Sirius comprise an equilateral triangle,
known as the Winter Triangle.

To find Sirius follow a slightly curved line from Orion's belt.

Betelgeuse is the head (technically the shoulder) of Orion.
    [pronounced: bet-el juice]
Sirius is in Canus Major and known as the Dog Star.
    [pronounced like serious]
Procyon is in Canus Minor and known as the Little Dog Star.
    [pronounced: pro-see-on]

As the Earth rotates, Orion the Hunter is followed by his dogs.

 
 
  Stars ranked by
apparent brightness
 1 Sirius
 7 Rigel
 8 Procyon
10 Betelgeuse
17 Pollux
If you get lost on New Year's Eve near midnight, Sirius is straight south (assuming you are in USA or Europe).
 
The Dog Days of Summer are named for the rising of Sirius at sunrise and setting at sunset during the hottest days of Summer. With Sirius, the brightest star, in the sky all day (but not visible because of the Sun) it was believed that it made these days hotter. The Old Farmer's Almanac listed the Dog Days as July 3 to August 11.