Watching the Skies: Visibility of the Winter Circle returns

Watching The Skies

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s hard to comprehend given the heat and humidity in the forecast this week, but a sure sign of the impending winter has returned to our early morning skies. 

The Winter Circle, also known as the Winter Hexagon, is once again visible before dawn. During June and July, the glare of the sun prevents us from seeing the Winter Circle. It becomes visible again in late August. 

The Winter Circle is an asterism. This means it’s a formation of stars, but it’s not officially a constellation. There are six first-magnitude stars that create the Winter Circle: Capella, Aldebaran, Rigel, Sirius, Procyon and Pollux. 

As we move through the next months, the Winter Circle will transition from a morning formation to an evening one. The Winter Circle is a fixture in the evening sky during winter. 

To spot the Winter Circle this week, look east before dawn. The waning moon will be in the middle of the circle from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. 

The full Sturgeon Moon took place over the weekend and we received several photos from viewers. 

Hammi Kelly captured a photo of the full moon rising over Muskegon Lake, Jim Amsler took a very detailed picture of the nearly full moon in Muskegon and Ed Roblyer took a picture of the moon through the grass in Plainwell. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Stories On

Know something newsworthy? Report It!