I read in many astronomy sites that Sirius is the brightest star of the night sky and that Orion’s Belt points to Sirius. For some days I have been regularly watching Orion (just before dawn) but the star that the Orion's belt points towards is of very average brightness; I don't think it is Sirius. On the other hand I found a very bright star near Orion , albeit not along the line of its belt. On the morning of October 9 (around 5:30 am) this star was adjacent to the crescent moon and shining slightly more brightly ! Even in the early morning glow when all the stars faded away it could still be seen along with the moon. Is this Sirius?

I live in Delhi so I am talking of the Delhi night sky.

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    $\begingroup$ That is the planet Venus $\endgroup$ Oct 9, 2015 at 9:33
  • $\begingroup$ This might help. earthsky.org/tonight/orion-heralds-return-of-sirius, a picture being worth a thousand words and all that. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Oct 10, 2015 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ And I think Conrad Turner is correct. Your description sounds a lot like the planet Venus which is quite a bit brighter in apparent magnitude than Sirius. Jupiter is also brighter than Sirius. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Oct 10, 2015 at 7:04
  • $\begingroup$ I think it is Venus but still have some doubts : 1. Planets do not twinkle but this "star" was twinkling. 2. Planets' positions change on a daily basis but this star is seen in the same fixed position every night. 3. I read somewhere that Venus is not visible until 15-20 minutes from dawn but it is seen well before daybreak. 4. Venus is visible near horizon but this star is quite high up in the sky. 5. This star lies between these 2 lines : line joining Betelgeuse and Bellatrix and line passing through belt of Orion $\endgroup$
    – user9451
    Oct 11, 2015 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Planets can twinkle if they're very low to the horizon and/or there is a lot of turbulence. The planetary disk can't even out all the variation. And the previous commenters are correct: this is definitely the planet Venus. $\endgroup$ Oct 12, 2015 at 20:53

3 Answers 3


The best way to find a particular star/planet/etc. is almost certainly to use a star map of some sort.

For example, doing a Google Image search for "star map sirius" would get you quite a few pictures such as the one in this article about Sirius that give a better picture of how Orion's belt "points" to it.

Alternately, there are a number of computer programs that offer a real time views/maps of the night sky.

Also check out Google Sky.


Sirius is the brightest "star" in the night sky, but not the brightest object in the sky in the early morning, at the time of writing.

In autumn of 2015, Venus is a very bright in the early morning sky, and it outshines any star by several magnitudes of brightness. It is, perhaps, in comparison to Venus that you find that Sirius is "of very average brightness" On the night you mention, Venus would have appeared as a bright "star" near to the crescent moon, and visible even after sunrise. No other star or planet would have been visible after sunrise.

Compared to the other stars, Sirius is exceptionally bright. However, at this time of the year it is close to the horizon (as seen from Delhi) which diminishes its apparent magnitude. Sirius will also appear to "twinkle" much more than Venus, and as of the time of writing, Venus will appear as clearly a "half disc" in a small telescope.

Learn to follow the sky, with either a map, or stellarium so you can recognise the patterns made by the stars of the sky, then you can find a particular star, such as Sirius, much more easily and confidently.


Sirius is in Canis Major, and if you take the belt of Orion to be the reference point then we can proceed as follows. If we define Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka as going left to right as we perceive it to be in the Northern Hemisphere, then we need to draw a line going from Mintaka in a SW-ish (left and down) orientation through Alnitak to Canis Major. You should see it. It's coming up to the best time of year to see Sirius and the Orion constellation.

N.B. I'm pretty certain what you are referring to as the object you're seeing at this present moment is Venus.


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