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Looking Up: Orion: A favorite of winter nights – Lifestyle – The Columbus Dispatch

More content now If Orion changed by wearing suspenders, the constellation would never be the same again.
Leave next clear night, at the end of January at 9:30 p.m. M., Look to the south and look halfway.
Out of the darkness of night come forth the glorious stars of Orion, one of the most famous and recognized constellations of all the heavens.
Orion, the mythical hunter, can be seen anywhere on Earth. The three conspicuous "stars of the belt" extend over the celestial equator. This imaginary line surrounds the sky halfway to the North Celestial Pole, where the North Star lives very close, and the South Celestial Pole, seen below. In other words, if you were on the ice of the northern polar layer, just at the North Pole, the celestial equator follows exactly your horizon and the polar star shines almost in a straight line. The northern half of Orion will be seen riding on the horizon as they advance 24 hours a night.
Similarly, in July, when the night covers Antarctica, from the South Pole you will see the southern half of Orion on the horizon, upside down from what you are used to seeing from the United States.
The three stars of the Orion belt are actually part of a weak stellar association, an open star cluster with a common origin, moving in tandem space. From left to right, the stars have names in Arabic: Alnitak ("Belt"), Alnilam ("Belt of pearls") and Mintaka ("Belt").
These stars are almost the same distance from us (from the left, 800, 1,000 and 900 light years). They are giant blue and white stars, each about 20 times the mass of the Sun. They shine at + 2 nd magnitude (+ 6 is the lower limit of visibility for eyes without help).
Look for the 7th magnitude companion star of Mintaka with binoculars. Long exposure photographs reveal that Alnitak is bathed in a weak cosmic cloud, or nebula, that includes the famous "horsehead nebula". The cloud of black dust, superimposed on the background nebula illuminated by the brightness of the stars, its equine silhouette is unmistakable. Large garden telescopes (10 "opening and larger) can reveal it under good sky conditions, and one of my goals is to catch this horse.
Also look for a line of S-shaped stars that start above Mintaka and it slides down and ends between Alnilam and Alnitak.Binoculars are needed if moonlight is a problem.
A group of stars seems to hang below Alnitak and is known as the Sword of Orion. of the medium seems blurred in the binoculars, this is the Great Orion Nebula (also known as M42), impressive even in a small telescope.The stars are formed within this nebula.M42 is about 1,344 light years from Earth (a light is approximately 5.8 TRILLION miles.)
Other principal The stars in Orion are the bright blue-white Rigel at the bottom right of the Belt and the bright red-orange Betelgeuse at the top left of the belt. Mark the corners of a large, rough rectangle, with the Belt in the middle.
While we think of Orion as a mythical Hunter, thanks to Gree ks, the Stars of the Belt and the Sword are known as Cazoleta in Australia and New Zealand as the Three Marys in Latin America, and as the Three Kings or the Three Sisters in South Africa
As seen south of the equator, Orion is upside down from the perspective of the northern hemisphere. Orion the Hunter stands on his head.
The Bible refers to Orion in Job 9: 9, Job 38:31 and Amos 5: 8.
The first quarter of the Moon is January 24; The Full Moon is on the 31st.
Keep looking!

– Peter Becker is Managing Editor at The News Eagle in Hawley, Pennsylvania. The notes are welcome at news@neagle.com. Please, mention in which newspaper or website this column reads.

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