Orion (Roll over image for constellation lines and labels)   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

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Orion, the hunter, is one of the brightest and most familiar constellations. It is visible throughout the late fall, winter, and early spring.

The three bright stars that form Orion's belt are very distinctive, and they can help beginning sky watchers find the constellation. Dropping down from the belt is Orion's sword, which includes the famous Orion Nebula. The nebula can be seen with the naked eye as a hazy star, and it is a wonderful sight through binoculars or telescopes. The large bright section of the nebula is Messier 42, and a smaller patch to the northeast is Messier 43.

Orion contains many nice star clusters and nebulas, but there is just one other Messier object, M78, which is a small reflection nebula.

Toward the bottom right is r Leporis, also known as Hind's Crimson Star. Easily visible through even a small telescope, this is one of the reddest stars in the night sky.

Image details:  6 images, each 10 seconds, ISO 12800, taken with a Canon T6i camera at a focal length of 28 mm.

January 2017