Constellation of the Week:ORION Kiersten, Morgan, & Arianna
Background Info • According to Greek mythology, the stars in this region of the sky are labeled Orion in honor of a great hunter, son of Neptune and the nymph Eurayle. • To the Egyptians, the same stars that are included in the Orion constellation were a tribute to the god of light, Osiris. Other cultures saw such things as a turtle or octopus. Some cultures combined these stars and others into larger figures like a Cayman or alligator-like creature. Others saw subsets of the stars as individual figures. • All in all, this shows that many cultures had different views and stories for the arrangement of the night sky’s stars.
Mythology Orion, the hunter, stands by the river Eridanus and is accompanied by his faithful dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor. Together they hunt various celestial animals, including Lepus, the rabbit, and Taurus, the bull. According to Greek mythology, Orion was in love with Merope, one of the Seven Sisters who form the Pleiades, but Merope would have nothing to do with him. Orion's tragic life ended when he stepped on Scorpius, the scorpion. The gods felt sorry for him, so they put him and his dogs in the sky as constellations. They also put all of the animals he hunted up there near him. Scorpius, however, was placed on the opposite side of the sky so Orion would never be hurt by it again.This is just one of the many versions of Orion’s mythology.
Position in the Sky Explanation of the following information Right Ascension: 5 hours Declination: 5 degrees Visible between latitudes 85 and -75 degrees Best seen in January (at 9:00 PM) Abbreviation: Ori Genitive: Orionis Translation: The Great Hunter
BETELGEUSE Betelguex; Betelgeuze; Beteiguex; Al Mankib. • Red Super-Giant • Betelgeuse is the 9th brightest star in the sky. • Betelgeuse also gives off nearly 50,000 times more light than the Sun. Combined with the fact that it is only 640 light years away from the Earth, this means that Betelgeuse is one of the brightest stars in the sky. This picture shows a scale of how large this star is in comparison to the other large stars in the solar system.
Rigel • Rigel is the 7th brightest star in the sky. It is called Beta Orionis even though it is brighter than Alpha Orionis (Betelgeuse). • Rigel is a system of a blue star and two white stars. It is a blue supergiant and part of a 4 star system, consisting of 2 binary stars. Rigel is approximately 1400 light-years from earth.
Bellatrixthe amazon star"warrioress" (west shoulder)Gamma Orionis • Distance: 240 light years • Brightness: 1100 times greater than the Sun • Surface Temperature: 40,000 F • Color: White • Mass: 10 x the mass of the Sun • Bellatrix is the 22nd brightest star in the sky. • Historically this star was used as a luminosity standard that astronomers could compare with other stars to check for variability. But it was later discovered that Bellatrix itself is an eruptive variable, changing in luminosity by a few percent over time. It ranges in magnitude from 1.59 to 1.64.
Saiph • Saiph is the bright star marking the right knee of Orion. The name derives from Saif al Jabbar, 'the Sword of the Giant', because of its proximity to the sword that hangs from Orions's waist. • It is 820 light years away. • It's temperature (50,000 F) is much hotter than the Sun's (10,000 F) and its brightness is about 18,000 times that of the Sun. Saiph, because of its high temperature, is white . • It is assumed that Saiph was formed from the nebulae clouds that surround the constellation.
Meissa • Constellation: Lambda (λ) Orion • Longitude 1900: 22GEM19 Longitude 2000: 23GEM42 • Declination 1900: +09.52' Declination 2000: +09.55' • Right ascension: 05h 35m Latitude: -13.22' • Spectral class: O8 Magnitude: 3.7 Meissa is a binary star and is best known for its huge surrounding ring of gas, called Sh2-264 (or the Meissa Ring), about 150 light-years across that is ionized by the star.
The Belt Stars • Mintaka- Delta Orionis - Arabic word for belt • Alnilam - The Amazon Star - Belt of Pearls • Alnitak - Zeta Orionis - The Girdle They lie about 1,500 light-years away, born of Orion's interstellar clouds. these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. These stars point towards Sirius, the dog star.
Orion Nebula • Located 1,500 light-years away, along our spiral arm of the Milky Way, the Orion Nebula is located in the middle of The Sword region of the constellation Orion the Hunter, which dominates the early winter evening sky, at the northern latitudes. • It was discovered by Nicholas Peiresc in 1610. This nebula can be seen with the naked eye. • This nebula is known as a emission nebula: stars form here. • The stars found in this nebula are over 1 million years old.
Horse Head Nebula • It is approximately 1,500 light years from Earth, and is approximately 3.5 light years wide. • One of the most identifiable nebulae in the sky, it is part of a swirling cloud of dark dust and gases, shaped like a horse's head (hence its name). The red glow originates from hydrogen gas predominantly behind the nebula, ionized by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis. The darkness of the Horsehead is caused mostly by thick dust, although the lower part of the Horsehead's neck casts a shadow to the left. Streams of gas leaving the nebula are funneled by a strong magnetic field. Bright spots in the Horsehead Nebula's base are young stars just in the process of forming.
Planetary systems have been found forming in the Orion Constellation
Oldest Star Chart Found • The oldest image of a star pattern, that of the famous constellation of Orion, has been recognized on an ivory tablet some 32,500 years old.The tiny sliver of mammoth tusk contains a carving of a man-like figure with arms and legs outstretched in the same pose as the stars of Orion. The claim is made by Dr Michael Rappenglueck, formerly of the University of Munich, who is already renowned for his pioneering work locating star charts painted on the walls of prehistoric caves. The tablet also contains mysterious notches, carved on its sides and on its back. These could be a primitive "pregnancy calendar", designed to estimate when a pregnant woman will give birth. • It was found in 1979 in a cave in the Ach Valley in the Alb-Danube region of Germany. Carbon dating of bone ash deposits found next to the tablet suggest it is between 32,500 and 38,000 years old, making it one of the oldest representations of a man ever found.
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