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Orion

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Orion

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The Orion constellation is known for having some of the brightest stars in the night sky. On a clear night, try to find the three stars that form the "belt" of the hunter. Above and below the belt you'll see Betelgeuse and Rigel. Betelgeuse looks reddish and Rigel is blue. The cloudy area just below the belt is the Orion Nebula -- the closest major star-forming region to Earth.

The Scorpion's Sting: The Myth of Orion
Orion was known to all of the Gods as the great hunter in Greek mythology. Orion told everyone that he had the power to kill every animal on the entire planet. When Gaia, the Goddess of Earth, heard that Orion was planning to kill all of the animals that roamed the planet, she became very angry, and sent Scorpius, the giant scorpion, to sting and kill him. Scorpius used all of its power and killed Orion with its poisonous sting. Separated to prevent any more fights and wars, Orion and Scorpius can now be seen living harmoniously on opposite ends of the night sky. These warring constellations are never visible at the same time.

Betelgeuse is one of Orion's brighter stars. What does the name Betelgeuse mean?

the color of blood

giant's shoulder

beetle spit

Are you right?

Correct!

In Arabic, the name Betelgeuse means "giant's shoulder."

If you look beyond and below Orion's "belt," you can find a:

belt buckle

black hole

nebula

Are you right?

Correct!

With a good pair of binoculars, the Orion Nebula resembles a hazy, white cloud. On a clear night you can even make out the nebula without binoculars!

Orion looks the same no matter where on Earth you view it.

Fact
or
Fiction
?

Fiction

Orion will look different if you're south of the Equator. From the Southern Hemisphere, the hunter appears to be standing on his head!

Location: between the constellations Canis Major
and Taurus
Shape: three bright stars close together form the "belt" of Orion, the hunter
Significance: constellation easily found from the Northern Hemisphere
Distance: stars range from 520 to 2,100 light-years from Earth

Image credits: "Observers", "Institute", Sven Kohle and Till Credner.