The photo above showing the constellation of Auriga looming over the Monastery of Saint George was taken from Vourgareli, Greece. Photographer: Stavros Hios
Capella (Alpha Auriga), the dominant star in Auriga with a magnitude of 0.8, lies almost directly above the approximately 300 year old monastery. It’s the second brightest star visible during the winter months from locations in the Northern Hemisphere — even brighter than the brightest stars in Orion. Just to the left of the monastery’s bell gable, the Pleiades appears as an ornament drooping from a lower limb of a deciduous tree. The light we see radiating from this most obvious of star clusters departed approximately 100 years before the monastery was constructed. Both the Pleiades and Auriga played eminent roles in Greek Mythology. The pinkish puff at far left is a cumulus cloud. Photo taken on March 26, 2011.