The title perhaps gives the question away, but would anyone know/be able to roughly approximate the angular distance/apparent separation between AE Aurigae and Orion's belt.

I have the value of $42^\circ$, from visual estimation but would like a way to calculate this.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Suggest you show your working by telling what you have done to find this and the value you got. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Feb 15, 2016 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ Purely by visual inspection and a little help from nova.astrometry.net $\endgroup$ Feb 15, 2016 at 20:26
  • $\begingroup$ @JamesKilfiger Many thanks for the link to the angular distance calculator. Very useful. :) $\endgroup$ Feb 15, 2016 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


Given the cords of AE aurigae:

RA 05h 16m 18.1s DEC +34° 18' 49"

And Alnitak in Orion's belt:

RA 05h 40m 45.52666s DEC −01° 56′ 34.2649″

I get an angular separation of 34.83°

By this formula:

$\cos(A) = \sin(\mathrm{DEC}_1)\cdot \sin(\mathrm{DEC}_2) + \cos(\mathrm{DEC}_1)\cdot \cos(\mathrm{DEC}_2)\cdot \cos(\mathrm{RA}_1 - \mathrm{RA}_2)$


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