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The Constellation Orion. Ryukyu Astronomy Club 28 March 2009. Discussion Topics. Locating Orion Mythology of Orion Brightest Stars in Orion Orion Nebula Trapezoid Star Cluster Horsehead Nebula Double stars in Orion. Locating Orion. Orion is the key to locating the constellations

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the constellation orion
TheConstellation Orion

RyukyuAstronomy Club28 March 2009

discussion topics
Discussion Topics
  • Locating Orion
  • Mythology of Orion
  • Brightest Stars in Orion
  • Orion Nebula
  • Trapezoid Star Cluster
  • Horsehead Nebula
  • Double stars in Orion
locating orion
Locating Orion

Orion is the key to

locating the constellations

of the Winter Sky


Mythology of Orion

  • In Greek mythology, Orion was a great hunter who eventually offended the gods, especially Apollo. Apollo tricked Artemis, the Goddess of the hunt, into shooting Orion on a bet. When she discovered that she had shot Orion, she quickly lifted him to the heavens and made him immortal, where he now hunts eternally with his two dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor. In front of him is his prey Taurus the Bull.

Brightest Stars of OrionAnd Deep Sky Objects







Horsehead Nebula


M42 Orion Nebula




Brightest Stars of Orion

  • Betelgeuse: "Alpha Orionis" is a massive red supergiant star nearing the end of its life. It is the second brightest star in the Orion constellation and the twelfth brightest star in the night sky.
  • Rigel: "Beta Orionis" is a blue supergiant that is the seventh brightest star in the night sky.
  • Bellatrix: "Gamma Orionis“ is the twenty-second brightest star in the night sky. Bellatrix is considered a blue giant, though it is too small to explode in a supernova. Its luminosity is derived from its high temperature rather than its radius. Bellatrix serves as Orion's "left shoulder.
  • Mintaka: "Delta Orionis“ is the faintest of the three stars in Orion’s belt. It is a multiple star system composed of a large blue giant and a more massive white star. Mintaka is the westernmost of the three stars that constitute Orion's Belt.
  • Alnilam: "Epsilon Orionis," is a blue supergiant, despite being nearly twice as far from the Sun as Mintake and Alnitak, the other two belt stars.
  • Alnitak: "Zeta Orionis" is the easternmost star in Orion's Belt. It is a triple star 800 light years distant, with the primary star being a hot blue supergiant.
  • Saiph: "Kappa Orionis“ serves as Orion's right foot. It is of a similar distance and size to Rigel, but appears much fainter, as its hot surface temperature (46,000°F or 26,000°C) causes it to emit most of its light in the ultraviolet region of the spectrum.
m42 the orion nebula
M42TheOrion Nebula
  • - Interstellar cloud of hydrogen,
  • dust, and plasma.
  • ~1300 light years away
  • ~24 light years across
  • Visible to naked eye


Star Cluster

  • Over 1000 young stars
  • Estimated 1M years old
  • Most stars clouded from
  • view by dust
  • Only 4-5 stars visible
  • with small scope

OrionStars to mag 7.0

Double stars indicated by



The Okinawan


for Orion