A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2016 Jan 31, 10:20 -0800
Yes, cat's out of the bag. The bright star was Rigel, and the two stars to the upper left were two out of three in Orion's Belt. Mintaka was covered in cloud. These were low level dense clouds, and the stars were either "on", and visible through that one hole, or "off". It really puzzled me --for about fifteen very long seconds-- when I saw this pattern in the sky a few weeks back. The graphic I made of it has been sitting on my desk (virtual desk) for weeks, and I finally found a few minutes to write it up. It's intriguing how the absence of one star in the belt made Orion so difficult to pick out. I was also impressed by the brightness of some of the other stars near Rigel which our normal "pattern" for Orion ignores.
Robin Stuart, you're right there should have been some nebulosity in the sword. Of course, that's the "Great Nebula" or M42. But I didn't see it that way in the sky, so I made it match what I saw. I wiped out the Great Nebula with a click of my mouse.
Finally, while I'm thinking of it, have any of you heard of the "Ell and Yard"? It was another traditional name for Orion's Belt and a few stars around it, but I'm not quite sure how it was pictured. I believe it's more than the three stars of the belt.