What's New: March 2019

The Glow in Orion

Orion the Hunter is perhaps the most well-known and easily recognized constellation in the (Northern) winter sky. Its bright stars pop into view shortly after sunset, and remain above the horizon until midnight or later.

Its two brightest stars, reddish Betelgeuse in the upper left, and blush Rigel in the lower right, represent the Hunter’s right shoulder and left knee, respectively. A diagonal line of three almost- equally bright and almost-equally spaced stars form Orion's Belt.

Volumes can be (and have been) written about these features and numerous others in this constellation. For the moment, however, let's take note of one in particular. If you follow a line of bright objects downward from Orion's Belt, you’ll come to a region that – even to the naked eye, looks fuzzy and indistinct. This is the famous Orion Nebula.

Orion Constellation and Orion Nebula