CONSTELLATION which may be seen in winter. It is named after Orion, who was a great hunter. A row of three bright stars marks Orion's belt. Three fainter stars in a row represent a sword or a dagger hanging from his belt. Four more stars form a rectangle around the belt and sword. These mark his shoulders and knees.
Legends tell that Orion boasted he was the greatest hunter and no animal could kill him. A scorpion finally bit Orion and did kill him. The goddess Diana, a huntress, persuaded Jupiter to place Orion in the sky. Orion seems to be stalking the constellation, TAURUS, the bull. He is followed in his journey across the sky by Canis Major and Minor,"his dogs. The scorpion is in the sky, too, but SCORPIUS is a summer constellation. This enemy of Orion is not visible when Orion is in the sky. Near the middle star in Orion's belt is a hazy cloud. This is the great Orion nebula, a gaseous cloud that reflects light from nearby stars.
BETELGEUSE, the bright red star on Orion's right shoulder, was supposed to be a ruby pin which held up his lion skin. Betelgeuse was the first star to have its diameter measured. Rigel, the bluish-white star diagonal to Betelgeuse, is pictured as the buckle on Orion's left shoe.