English Name: The Hunter
Hemisphere: Northern and Southern Hemisphere. (Underlined means the more area in square feet in Southern Hemisphere.)
Location: Between the constellations of Monoceros and Eridanus.
Visible between latitudes: +90 and -40 degrees
Best season: Winter
Seen in three seasons: Autumn, Winter and Spring.
Best seen in: During the middle of January.
Seen between: November and early March.
Right Ascension (RA): 05 hour
Declination (DEC): +05 degrees
Area (square degrees): 594 (26th)
Orion (The Hunter)
- Orion, perhaps the most magnificent of all the constellations.
- It’s located on the celestial equator, and visible throughout the world – most recognisable constellations in the night sky.
- Its brightest stars are Beta (Rigel); a blue-white, and Alpha (Betelgeuse); a red supergiant respectively. Many of the other brightest stars in the constellation are hot blue supergiant stars.
- The Orion Nebula, also known as Messier 42 (M42), is located south of Orion’s belt, in its lying Theta, a multiple star known as the Trapezium.
- M42 – Diffuse Nebula; visible to the naked-eye, and hazy spot in binoculars and small telescopes. The glowing hydrogen gas has a highly classified pinkish colour that is evident in the photographs, even those taken with few seconds exposed.
- M43 – small patch of nebulosity just north of the main body of M42 and visible under good conditions in binoculars. In fact it’s nothing more part of the whole Orion Nebula complex.
- M78 – Reflection Nebula; around magnitude: +8.0, lighted by two hot stars, all visible with 3-inch telescopes.
Features of Interest
- NGC 1981 – Open Cluster; detectable with the naked-eye, but so few stars that it does not bear much magnificaton; better with low powers, or binoculars.
- NGC 2024 – Gaseous Emission Nebula with dark dust lanes; very close to very bright star – Alnitak in Orion’s Belt, which should be kept outside the field of view. This emission is hard detectable with binoculars, and the dark lanes with 5-inch telescopes.
- NGC 2169 – Open Cluster; small consisting of around 30 stars.
- Betelgeuse (Alpha Ori)
- Rigel (Beta Ori)
- Bellatrix (Gamma Ori)
- Mintaka (Delta Ori)
- Alinilam (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)
- Photo of the constellation; Orion, as it appears to the naked eye. (Lines have been added for clarity.)
- Sky Chart – Orion
- List of stars in Orion.
Back to The 88 Constellations Lists page.