Orion is a constellation that is visible in the center of the sky during the winter months. Orion is accompanied by his two dogs, Canus Major and Canus Minor. The most distinguishing feature is the three stars in a row which make up his belt. Below that, there are three stars and a nebula , that make up his sword.
Orion has a total of 14 stars and two major nebulas. There are actually three nebulas, but Demarin?s Nebula (M43) is part of Orion?s nebula (M42). There are three main stars in the constellation Orion. The brightest star, which is red, is named Betelgeuse. This is his right shoulder. The second brightest star, Bellatrix, is his left shoulder. Rigel, which is bluish-white, is the third brightest star in the constellation, and it represents his foot.
In mythology, Orion was a great hunter. He was the son of Poseidon . His mother was Euryale, the Gorgon . Orion fell in love with Merope, the daughter of Oenopion, who was the king of Chios. He wanted to marry Merope, but Oenopion didn?t permit it, so Orion attempted to kill him. Orion did not succeed, and with the help of Dionysus , Oenopion put him into a deep sleep and blinded him. When he awoke, he went to an oracle, and the oracle told him to go to the East and look into the sun. When his sight was restored, he lived on Crete as the huntsman of the goddess Artemis. She later killed him because he liked Aurora, the goddess of dawn. After he died, Artemis put him in the sky as a constellation.
There are other myths as to how Orion died, but these are the most popular ones. One belief is that he died by stepping on Scorpious. The gods felt sorry for him, so they put him in the heavens as a constellation. Another myth states that Artemis sent Scorpious to kill Orion, and again, she put him in the sky as a constellation. Some think that he died while battling Taurus, the bull, and every winter night they come out to fight again.
Even though constellations basically stay in one place, they appear to move because of the Earth rotating and revolving. Orion moves southeast throughout the year. It is best seen in January at about 9:00 P.M, and is visible for about five hours. The Declination1 of Orion is 5 degrees.