Sunday, January 27, 2019

Na’ir al Saïf

Iota Orionis, photo taken by Addison Baldeshwiler

On January 20th, stargazers around the globe went outside to admire the super blood wolf moon. Though the moon was the main attraction that night, three special stars caught the attention of CIFC staff. Addison captured a beautiful photo of three stars just under the belt of Orion. These stars represent the sword of the warrior around the constellation of Orion.

One of the brightest stars of the constellation, Iota Orionis or Na'ir al Saïf in Arabic (meaning "The Bright one of the sword”), is responsible for producing the cloud of light that resembles a nebula. This star is part of the largest nebula of the constellation (the Orion Nebula) and is the easiest star to see, visible even to the naked eye.

To find the Na’ir al Saïf, wait for a clear, dark night and search for the three stars that form Orion’s belt. Na'ir al Saïf is the star just below the middle star of Orion’s belt. Enjoy!

by Nicolas Yviquel, program management intern

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