Asterism of the Month - May 2020- Little Orion

Original article appears in GuideStar May, 2020.

Asterisms – Little Orion

By: Steve Goldberg


Asterism: a grouping of stars that form a recognizable pattern.

Constellation: Cygnus

Right Ascension: 20h 56m 00.0s

Declination: + 43° 34' 00"

Magnitude: 6 to 9

Size: about 1 degree                                      

This asterism is composed of 7 stars that form a “little” constellation Orion. It is located near the star Deneb in Cygnus. Deneb is the “tail” of Cygnus the Swan.


In this view with a 10” scope and 32mm eyepiece, you can see the 3 “belt stars” with 2 bright stars on either side representing Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Rigel and Saiph.







The “Little Orion” is located on the edge of North American Nebula, NGC 7000, with “Betelgeuse” touching Florida. The “belt stars” point to the Gulf of Mexico. In really dark skies, the North American can be seen with the naked eye, and easily in binoculars. Make an attempt to see NGC 7000.


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