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27th of June 2017
The Constellation of Orion
by Brett Hiscock (CASS)
The image above shows the constellation of Orion setting in the early evening sky, with the Boolardy homestead on the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory in the foreground. Orion is one of the most easily recognisable constellations and, as it lies close to the celestial equator, is can be easily seen from both the northern and southern hemispheres. The contellation features seven bright stars which appear in the shape of an hourglass (which in the image above is lying on its side). Rigel, the brightest star in Orion (and sixth brightest in the night time sky) is a blue supergiant, and is the left-hand-most of the seven in the image above. Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, is the right-hand-most in the image above, and can be seen between the leaves of the tree. The three stars of Orion's belt are, from top to bottom, Alnitak ("the girdle"), Alnilam ("string of pearls"), and Mintaka ("the belt"). Despite being close together in the sky, the three stars lie at quite different distances from the Earth.

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