ORION (?-r?´-on)—THE GIANT HUNTER. (Face South.)
Location.—Orion is considered the finest constellation in the heavens. A line drawn from Nath to ? Tauri (the tips of the Bull’s horns), and extended 15°, strikes the brilliant Betelgeuze in Orion, known as the martial star. It forms the northeast corner of a conspicuous parallelogram. The splendid first-magnitude star Rigel is diagonally opposite Betelgeuze, and the girdle and sword of the Hunter lie within the parallelogram, a very striking group. The former is represented by three bright stars in a line 3° long known as the “Three Stars,” because there are no other stars in the heavens that exactly resemble them in position and brightness.
In the sword there is the most remarkable nebula in the heavens. It may be seen with an opera-glass and in a telescope it is a wonderful sight. Bellatrix is called the Amazon star. Note the contrasting colours of ? and ?.
About 9° west of Bellatrix are eight stars in a curved line running north and south. These point out the Lion’s skin held in the Hunter’s left hand.
Below ? there are two stars forming a triangle with it. Flammarion calls this region the California of the sky.
The celestial equator passes nearly through ?.
Orion was worshipped in China during the one thousand years before our era, and was known to the Chinese as the “White Tiger.”
The Eskimos see in the Belt stars the three steps cut by some celestial Eskimo in a steep snow bank to enable him to reach the top.