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Orion Constellation

Orion (Pronounciation:Ore-i-on, Abbrev:Ori, Latin:Orionis) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Orion takes up 594.12 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 1.44% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Hunter . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

Orion is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator. The brightest star in Orion is Rigel. There are 10 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) detailed on this site.

Legend of the Constellation

Orion was a strong hunter who attracted the eyes of many women and goddesses. This caused a lot of jealousy. He was created for a poor shepherd when he looked after Zeus one night. The goddess Artemis was infatuated with the hunter which made Apollo angry. He sent Scorpius to kill Orion. The scorpion scarpered and Orion followed. Apollo tricked Artemis into killing Orion with her bow. Apollo put him along with his dog Sirius into the sky. The Pleiades are said to be seven daughters of Atlas, the Titan. When Orion started his infatuation for them, Zeus turned them first into doves then stars to keep Atlas company.

Items of Interest

Orion thanks to the three stars that make up the belt is one of the most easiest constellations to identify in the night sky. If you are in the northern hemisphere, you just need to look in a southerly direction to spot the constellation.

Betelgeuse is the star that is most likely to turn into supernova soon. However given that we`re so far away from the star, it will not affect life on Earth. It will also not happen for thousands of years but when it does, it will be relatively near compared to other explosions.

The constellation contains two of the most famous nebulas, the Horsehead Nebula, to the "south" of Alnitak, so called because at the centre is a dark spot in the shape of a Horses head. The other being the Great Orion Nebula, a beautiful looking nebula.

Meteor Showers

There are 13 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The ones listed as the ones I've been able to find a date range for. For others if you have the time, you can visit the AMU site, obtains the SL value then use IMO tables to calculate the date. A lot of the Meteor Showers are weak and you need to do a lot of stargazing to spot them.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
OrionidsOctober 15-29Oct. 21Xi Orionis

Orion Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarRigel
Area594.12 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky1.44%
Size Position26th
Hemisphere Equatorial
Site Exoplanet Count10
Meteor Shower Count13
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsTaurus

Orion Constellation Map

Orion Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

List of Named Stars in Orion

StarDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Alnilam1630.82-01 d 12 ` 06.905h 36m 12.81
Alnitak815.41-01 d 56 ` 33.305h 40m 45.52
Bellatrix250.89+06 d 20 ` 59.005h 25m 07.87
Betelgeuse465.95+07 d 24 ` 25.305h 55m 10.29
BL Orionis-1+14 d 43`19.206h 25m 28.18
Chi1 Orionis28.36+20 d 16 ` 35.105h 54m 23.08
Chi2 Orionis1630.82+20 d 08 ` 18.506h 03m 55.18
CK Orionis543.61+04 d 12`17.505h 30m 19.91
CVSO 30+01 d 34` 24.3305h 25m 07.557
DN Orionis1087.21+10 d 13`05.006h 00m 28.35
Eta Orionis1087.21-02 d 23 ` 49.705h 24m 28.62
EY Orionis3261.63-05 d 42`13.505h 31m 18.41
Gliese 20518.43-03 d 40`19.705h 31m 26.95
Gliese 20836.65+11 d 19`40.805h 36m 30.99
GW Orionis815.41+11 d 52`12.705h 29m 08.39
Meissa1087.21+09 d 56 ` 03.005h 35m 08.28
Mintaka652.33-00 d 17 ` 56.705h 32m 00.40
Mu Orionis155.32+09 d 38 ` 50.506h 02m 22.99
Nair Al Saif3261.63-05 d 54 ` 35.605h 35m 25.98
Nu Orionis543.61+14 d 46 ` 06.706h 07m 34.32
Omega Orionis1630.82+04 d 07 ` 17.305h 39m 11.15
Omicron1 Orionis652.33+14 d 15 ` 02.804h 52m 31.96
Omicron2 Orionis181.20+13 d 30 ` 52.504h 56m 22.32
Phi1 Orionis1087.21+09 d 29 ` 22.505h 34m 49.24
Phi2 Orionis116.49+09 d 17 ` 29.105h 36m 54.33
Pi1 Orionis116.49+10 d 09 ` 04.104h 54m 53.70
Pi2 Orionis217.44+08 d 54 ` 00.904h 50m 36.72
Pi4 Orionis1087.21+05 d 36 ` 18.404h 51m 12.37
Pi5 Orionis1630.82+02 d 26 ` 26.404h 54m 15.10
Pi6 Orionis1087.21+01 d 42 ` 50.504h 58m 32.90
Rho Orionis362.40+02 d 51 ` 40.505h 13m 17.48
Rigel815.41-08 d 12`05.905h 14m 32.27
RS Orionis3261.63+14 d 40`41.306h 22m 13.19
S Orionis3261.63-04 d 41`32.705h 29m 00.89
Saiph652.33-09 d 40 ` 10.605h 47m 45.39
Sigma Orionis1087.21-02 d 36 ` 00.205h 38m 44.77
Tabit26.30+06 d 57 ` 40.504h 49m 50.14
Tau Orionis465.95-06 d 50 ` 39.805h 17m 36.40
Thabit3261.63-07 d 18 ` 05.505h 31m 55.86
Theta1 Orionis A-05 d 23 ` 14.305h 35m 15.82
Theta1 Orionis C-05 d 23 ` 22.905h 35m 16.47
Theta1 Orionis D-05 d 23 ` 15.705h 35m 17.20
Theta2 Orionis1630.82-05 d 24 ` 57.805h 35m 22.90
U Orionis1630.82+20 d 10`30.705h 55m 49.18
UX Orionis815.41-03 d 47`14.305h 04m 29.99
V1031 Orionis652.33-10 d 31`58.505h 47m 26.90
V1192 Orionis652.33+03 d 17`12.205h 00m 08.22
V1197 Orionis543.61-01 d 36`47.405h 43m 09.32
V1357 Orionis58.24+10 d 37`40.306h 13m 12.46
V1369 Orionis815.41+04 d 00`43.105h 21m 19.31
V1377 Orionis1630.82-03 d 15`10.205h 35m 35.90
V1389 Orionis652.33+06 d 00`58.606h 12m 59.57
V1649 Orionis271.80+05 d 19`23.005h 23m 31.08
V346 Orionis1630.82+01 d 43`48.305h 24m 42.80
V351 Orionis543.61+00 d 08`40.405h 44m 18.79
V901 Orionis1087.21-01 d 30`25.905h 40m 56.37
VV Orionis1630.82-01 d 09`21.905h 33m 31.45
W Orionis1087.21+01 d 10`39.505h 05m 23.71
Xi Orionis652.33+14 d 12 ` 31.706h 11m 56.40
Z Orionis-1+13 d 41`42.005h 55m 50.93

Objects of Interest (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Orion

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
De Mairan's NebulaEmission/Reflection Nebula1.6-05:1605h 35m 6
Horsehead NebulaDark Nebula1.500-02:27:3005h 40m 59m 0s
M78 Reflection NebulaReflection Nebula1.6+00:0305h 46m 7
The Great Orion NebulaEmission/Reflection Nebula1.324-1.364-05:2705h 35m 4

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