Dec. 1 23:00
Dec. 15
Jan. 1
Jan. 15
Feb. 1
Feb. 15
The following text appears on the plaque: “Orion, a mythical Greek hunter, is one of the most ancient constellations. A brief history of stellar evolution can be traced among the stars forming its hourglass shape. Beneath the diagonal line of the hunter’s belt looms the Orion Nebula (M42), a cloud of hydrogen 1,400 light-years away where stars are being born.  Rigel, a hot young blue-white supergiant, lies in Orion’s lower right corner. Rigel shines 60,000 times brighter than the Sun and is about 900 light-years away.  Betelgeuse is a very old, cool-red supergiant that lies in Orion’s upper left corner. Stars like Betelgeuse are near the end of their lives. They eventually explode, becoming supernovae, and spread stardust across a tiny corner of our galaxy. Long ago, such explosions provided the elements necessary for life. Our Solar System, the planet Earth, and indeed our bodies, are all made of stardust.  The celestial equator is an imaginary line running parallel to the Earth’s equator. It is used to measure the movements of celestial objects. Mintaka, the upper right star in Orion’s belt, lies almost exactly on the celestial equator.  The ecliptic is another imaginary line that traces the apparent annual movement of the sun across the sky. The constellations which fall near this line are called the zodiac.   Taurus, the bull, consists of two open star clusters. The V- shaped Hyades, which forms the bull’s nose, is a family of young stars located 150 light-years away. Aldebaran, the constellation’s brightest apparent member, is actually an old, red giant that lies between the Earth and the Hyades at a distance of 60 light-years. The Pleiades cluster is at the heart of Taurus and is a family of recently formed stars that lie about 450 light-years away.”
The blue mark indicates where to stand to see the alignment.
Four Seasons
Designed by Katsuhiro Yamazaki; metalwork by Soheil Mosun, Ltd. and Alfred Pfattischer.