Orion, Gemini, Eridanus, Lepus, Fornax and Canis Minor   102470
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1 BASF Antwerp Port (B), 29.5 km
2 Doel nuclear power plant (B), 27 km
3 Antwerp Port (B), 33 km
4 Antwerp City, 41 km
5 Sluiskil industry (NL), 6.5 km
6 Arcelor Mittal (B), 18 km


Location: Terneuzen Waterfront (70 m)      by: Mentor Depret
Area: Netherlands      Date: 2017 11 22 10:15 PM wt
There are 88 constellations and Orion (the Hunter) is certainly one of the most famous and recognizable although you have to be on quite a dark place to see its bow and right arm well with the naked eye. It is the winter constellation of the Northern Hemisphere with several of the brightest stars in the night sky. Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis, abbreviated Alpha Ori) is the 9th brightest star in the sky and classified as a red supergiant 640 light-years away. Rigel (Beta Orionis, Beta Ori) a blue-white supergiant, is the 7th brightest in the sky at some 863 light-years distant from Earth. Rigel is an irregular pulsating star and almost always brighter than Betelgeuse so it should have been the Alpha star of the constellation. Orion's belt is symbolized by three, nearly equally bright, blue supergiants: Alnitak, Alnilan and Mintaka. Just below is Orion's sword with the famous Orion Nebula, clearly visible to the naked eye.

Left of Orion, you find the beautiful and well visible constellation of Gemini (the Twins), with the well-known stars Castor (Alpha Geminorum, Alpha Gem) and Pollux (Beta Geminorum, Beta Gem).

Right of Orion, just above Rigel, begins Eridanus (the celestial River) with Cursa. Eridanus is a very long chain of less visible stars. Half of the constellation is still below the horizon. Cursa is the second brightest member of Eridanus and thus the Beta star. Alpha Eridani, known as Alchernar, is at the other end of the constellation still below the horizon.

Below Orion, just above the horizon you find the small constellation of Lepus (the Hare). It is difficult to recognize with naked eyes in our light polluted sky but its ears are peculiar on a photograph.

Canis Minor, the smaller Dog, is a one line constellation but with the 8th brightest star in the sky: Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris, Alpha CMi). Together with Betelgeuse and Sirius, the brightest star in the sky but still below the horizon, Procyon forms a nearly perfect equilateral triangle, the so-called Winter Triangle.

On the right in the pano, you see part of the constellation Cetus, the Wale, described in pano 22585.

Below Cetus and enclosed by the lower meander of Eridanus is the small constellation of Fornax (the Furnace) with Alpha Fornacis as its brightest star.

Canon Eos M6 with EF-M 11-22 mm, 7 pics, 17 mm (27.2 mm KB), iso 400, f 5.6, 15 s, 4100°K, PTGuiPro, 11130x4489 201 MB TIFF, crop to height 3761, downsized to 1477x500 264KB JPEG.


Again an impressive documetation of star sky, respect!
2017/11/27 16:30 , Friedemann Dittrich
Extremely interesting.
Curiously enough, the first glance at the preview had suggested to me something related to N.17089...

PS: I was also researching about that name Mintaka, which is also the name of a pass in the Karakorum, between China and Pakistan.
On Wikipedia I read that the name should come from the Arabic mantaqa = belt.
2017/11/27 18:59 , Pedrotti Alberto
Very, very interesting.
2017/11/27 20:01 , Giuseppe Marzulli
A pity that you did not wait for Sirius to rise. By the way, isn't it Betelgeuse which is variable (0.5m-1.1m) and not Rigel (0.1m), which is always much brighter than Betelgeuse? KR Wilfried
2017/11/28 10:29 , Wilfried Malz
@Wilfried, I agree that the pano would look nicer with Sirius but then I need so much height that after downsizing to 500 px, the wide would drop to about 1000-1100 px resulting in an even worse quality.

Concerning Betelgeuse and Rigel. It is correct that Betelgeuse is much more variable than Rigel. Betelgeuse is classified as a semi regular variable star with an apparent magnitude varying between 0.0 to 1.3, the widest range of any first magnitude star. Rigel is in fact a star system of 3 to perhaps 5 stars and the star we see is the blue-white supergiant Rigel A, which is classified as an Alpha Cygni Variable and with a visual range of magnitude between 0.05 to 0.18. Most of the time Rigel A is brighter than Betelgeuse but not always. They made a mistake to name Betelgeuse the Alpha star of Orion, probably at a period when it was brighter.
2017/11/28 14:18 , Mentor Depret
Really fascinating to see how you elaborated this panoramic view. Also interesting about the imagination our ancestors had while finding the star signs on the sky circle. The star cluster of Gemini and Orion is just perfectly drawn. Well done!

It is really a pity that commentators find no positive word and complain about objects not even visible on the picture :-)
2017/11/28 19:04 , Hans-Jürgen Bayer
Your astronomy panoramas are simply outstanding! The clarity of the constellations is enchanting ... and thanks so much for your helpful description, dear Mentor - chapeau!

Cheers, Hans-Jörg
2017/11/28 19:29 , Hans-Jörg Bäuerle
Sorry, Mentor, I didn't mean to hurt you. But in many constellations Alpha is not the brightest star, e.g. Hercules, Draco, Sagittarius. I am no physicist, but astronomy has been my hobby for more than half a century. KR Wilfried
2017/11/30 11:59 , Wilfried Malz
Thanks for the many comments and discussion gentlemen.
@ Wilfried, no problem as I agreed that Sirius should be part of the scene. So I will satisfy this with my next pano. Indeed it is true that the brightest star of constellations is not always the Alpha although the idea was to name brightest the Alpha.
@Heinz, I always start automatically but the stitcher almost never does it right with these night shots so I remove most of the match points and choose new near the horizon. Also I force the cutting curves around the constellations if possible. The EF-M 11-22 mm at 17 mm cannot go below F5.0. On the camera, I always use the vignetting correction and do an additional correction with the PTGui program. Also important, I photograph these star shots with at least 60 % overlapping.
2017/11/30 23:26 , Mentor Depret
Mentor, please excuse me for deleting my comment. I had come to the conclusion that I had not yet formulated the question of aperture or exposure. But I repeat the comment with a more detailed question...
2017/12/01 13:22 , Heinz Höra

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Mentor Depret

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