Hunting His Way Across
The Night Sky
Orion The Constellation



Look up in the winter sky and there he is- Orion The constellation of the hunter- standing tall and easily recognized.

Near the river Eridanus with his hunting dogs Canis Major-the big or great dog, and Canis minor-the lesser dog.

Orion is hunting Lepus the hare and taurus constellation of the bull.

Orion was killed when he stepped on and was stung by Scorpius the scorpion.

Rigel(beta orionis)the left foot, the sixth brightest star in the sky, is actually the brightest star in the constellation.

Rigel is part of the winter circle asterism.

The right shoulder Betelgeuse(alpha orionis), is second brightest and is a variable star. It was named during a period of brightness making it appear more luminous than Rigel.

Betelgeuse is an old star and is so massive that when it explodes in a few thousand years it will become so bright it will be visible during the day.

Bellatrix the left shoulder is known as the "Amazon star". It's the 22nd brightest star.

Showing The Way

Like the Big Dipper constellation , Orion the constellation can be used to find other stars and constellations.

Extending the belt of Orion to the southeast will lead you to Sirius the dog star in Canis Major.

Going across the shoulders from Bellatrix to Betelgeuse finds Procyon in Canis Minor.

Drawing a line from Rigel through Betelgeuse points to Castor and Pollux the Twins of the Gemini constellation

orion the constellation stars orion the constellation with outlines

Hunting With Orion

Right Ascension: 5 hours

Declination: 5 degrees

Visible between latitudes 85 and -75 degrees

Best seen in January (at 9:00 PM)

Named Stars: BETELGEUSE (Alpha Ori) RIGEL (Beta Ori) BELLATRIX (Gamma Ori) MINTAKA (Delta Ori) ALNILAM (Epsilon Ori) ALNITAK (Zeta Ori) Nair al Saif (Iota Ori) SAIPH (Kappa Ori) Meissa (Lambda Ori) Tabit (Pi 3 Ori) Tabit (Pi 2 Ori) Tabit (Pi 4 Ori) Tabit (Pi 1 Ori) Thabit (Upsilon Ori)

Orion the constellation is filled with many different types of nebulae.

The Orion nebula is seen as the middle star in the sword of Orion hanging from his belt.

The Horsehead nebula B33 is a dark dust cloud in front of emission nebula IC434. The shape of the dust cloud gives the nebula its name.

Below the belt star Alnitak is the Flame nebula NGC2024.

Blue reflection nebula NGC2023 is below right of the Flame nebula and below left of the Horsehead.

Other reflection nebulae are IC435, IC432, IC431.

These nebulae are visible in binoculars and small telescopes and more nebulae become visible in larger size scopes.

Orion the constellation to constellation list homepage.

constellations and backyard stargazing