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Constellation Orion

Updated on June 26, 2016


Even the most amateur stargazer knows about Orion. The constellation is often referred to as "The Hunter," and is a prominently located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the largest, most conspicuous, and most recognizable constellations in the night sky. Its name refers to Orion, a hunter in Greek Mythology.

Public domain photo courtesy Wikipedia

Public domain photo courtesy Wikipedia/NASA


Orion looks very similar a person. First, you should spot Orion's Belt, which is made of three bright stars in a straight line. One of Orion's legs is represented by the bright star Rigel, one of the brightest stars in the night sky. His two shoulders are made of the stars Bellatrix and Betelgeuse. You can see Betelgeuse's reddish color without a telescope. Other bright stars make up the two arms, one which holds a shield, and another that carries a club.

Many different civilizations saw this constellation in the sky. The most famous stories come from Greek and Roman myths. Orion was a famed hunter, and in one story boasted that no creature could kill him. Hera then sent a scorpion to sting the hunter. Orion smashed the animal with his club, but not before he was poisoned. Both are now on opposite sides of the sky. They cannot be seen at the same time.

A different story tells of the love between Orion and the goddess, Artemis. One day, Orion was swimming out in the sea. Apollo, who very much disliked the man, bet his sister that she couldn't hit the object in the sea with her bow. Artemis didn't realize it was her lover, and shot Orion with an arrow. When she later found out what she had done, she honored the hunter by putting him in the sky.

There are several clusters and nebulae to view in this constellation. The famous Orion Nebula is located in Orion's sword, which hangs from the belt. It is so bright, that even the naked eye can see the fuzzy patch. It looks spectacular even with a small telescope or binoculars. There are numerous other objects in Orion, so scan the constellation with a telescope or binoculars on a clear night.

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Orion Info on Video

Illustrations courtesy Wikipedia, Wikimedika, and Creative Commons

Thoughts on Orion? - Feel free to comment here. Thanks for visiting!

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    • greenqueen09 profile image

      Laura 5 years ago from Australia

      I love this constellation!

    • therealstig86 profile image

      therealstig86 5 years ago

      This was the first constellation my Dad ever showed me

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 6 years ago

      Good work

    • Inkhand profile image

      Inkhand 6 years ago

      A lens that makes finding the constellation Orion much easier.

    • profile image

      RocklawnArts 6 years ago

      One of my favorite constellations. :)

    • profile image

      twinklingSkies 6 years ago

      Cool lens. Specially the background section.