The Orion Constellation

Which constellation is sometimes referred to as "The Hunter?"

And the answer: Orion.    

Named after the hunter in Greek mythology, the Orion constellation outlines what appears to be a man holding a bow, and wearing a belt. Two of the ten brightest stars in the sky – Rigel and Betelgeuse – are located in Orion.


Orion is one of the most visible constellations in the night sky. Known to humans since ancient times, it is one of the oldest recognized constellations in the world — its distinctive bow has been found carved into Aurignacian mammoth ivory that is estimated to be between 32,000 to 38,000 years old.

The constellation of Orion is also one of the most prominent constellations, as it hosts numerous bright stars, nebulae, and star clusters. Of the stars visible in Orion's belt, all except one are blue giants or supergiants. This accounts for the constellation's visibility, as giants and supergiants are massive stars that tend to emit enough light to traverse the lightyears between themselves and Earth. However, that's no short distance: one light-year is the distance that light travels in a single year, which comes out to about 6 trillion miles.

Photo credit: Mouser

Did you know?

Betelgeuse, the red giant on Orion's shoulder, is one of the largest stars known to man. It sits at a comfortable 642 light-years away, which means it takes about 430 years for the light from this giant star to reach Earth. Forget time-traveling; one look into a clear night sky and you'll see light that left Betelgeuse in the late 1500s!

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