How I Photographed the Orion Constellation With My iPhone

On March 19, 2023 the sky was clear and the winds not too strong.  I was walking on Fordham Road and looked up and to my surprise there was Venus shining brightly.  I was awed and took some photos of the beautiful bright luminous planet. I kept walking toward my home but then decided it was too nice a night to not observe the stars with the naked eye, as Venus had already made me excited.  So, I continued to the school yard of JHS 45 on Bathgate Ave. and E. 189th St. in the Bronx, NY that is open to the public after hours or when school is not session.  I walked into the school yard and looked up.  The view took my breath away.  I stood there for at least 30 seconds just gazing up at the constellation. 

Figure 1. Venus taken on 3/19/23 at 8:02 PM standing in Fordham Square bet. Fordham Rod and E. 189th St., BX, NY, looking South West.

It seemed so close but I knew it was millions of miles away from my location.  That’s when I grabbed the binoculars that I had around my neck, CEFC binoculars (a prototype I acquired for free when the company was waiting to get its patent and has since received same and has even better binoculars, but I digress).  I needed to confirm that I was staring at the three stars in Orion’s belt and the star Betelgeuse in the upper left corner.  The first thing I did was open my “Planets” app on my IPhone to confirm that I was looking at the Orion constellation.  Then I looked through my binoculars to view these heavenly bodies.  At first these points of light seemed to be dancing as I viewed them through the binoculars but soon realized that I was not holding the binoculars steady.  So, I looked at the constellation stars again, then adjusted the binoculars to get a clearer view of the stars.  What I saw kept me standing motionless for a good two minutes.  Your arms will tire when you are viewing the stars with binoculars.  However, the trick is to relax your arms, shoulders and legs to relieve the stress from your neck and arms while standing in a relaxed stance.  You don’t tire as quickly when you relax your neck, shoulders and legs while standing and holding the binoculars.  You will observe the object(s) – and be amazed.  So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and look up tonight and take a photo with your phone.

Figure 2. Orion Constellation Stars labelled by the Author.
Figure 3. Th author used the constellation chart to name the space bodies in the sky maps above. More stars were in the Orion Nebula on 3/19/2023 than what the author’s photo showed.