Orion’s Belt

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About Orion’s Belt

Orion’s Belt is visible in the late evening summer autumn months, by June it’s already set in the west when the sun goes down.

Orion’s Belt is a good example of how little constellations look like what they are supposed to look like. In Australia it’s often (informally) referred to as the saucepan (which it does looks a bit like).

It’s a useful sign post when trying to name that star.

What appears to be the middle star of the saucepan handle (or Orion’s dagger, if you prefer) is the Orion Nebula. It is faintly visible through binoculars and spectacularly visible through a cheap telescope.

Betelguese is a good conversation starter, being a red supergiant, around 650 times the size of the sun—though still beaten by Antares (about 700 times as big) which is conveniently located in Scorpius. This means you should always be able to point to a red supergiant at any time of the year.

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