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Stars in your eyes

star map for 15 december 2006

This is a star map for 15 December 2006 at midnight looking SOUTH down The Common from Crich Market Place.

Mythological Background of the constellation Orion

Orion is one of the oldest and best known constellations. It is also one of the easiest to pick out. Orion was the legendary great hunter of the Greek mythology. He thought himself the most beautiful of men and the most skilful of hunters. He began boasting of his skills, claiming to have total superiority over all creatures. Quite naturally, this annoyed all the other gods so they decided to punish him for his greatly inflated ego. The gods sent Scorpius, the scorpion to sting Orion's foot, and kill him. The goddess Diana was an admirer of Orion (and his ego). She implored the gods to place the great hunter in the sky so that he would be remembered. This they agreed to, so long as they also placed the scorpion there to warn against over inflated egos. In Orion's dying breath he begged not to be placed near the scorpion. And so, Orion dominates the winter skies while Scorpius' domain is the summer skies; the two constellations can never be seen in the sky at the same time.

star map of Orion

Orion had two dogs; Canis Major (the Greater Dog) and Canis Minor, (the Lesser Dog). The Greater Dog has the brightest star in the night sky called Sirius (or the dog star). It is located below Orion's feet whereas the Lesser Dog, with its bright star Procyon, stands behind Orion's shoulder.

The three stars of Orion�s belt point to Sirius which makes it quite easy to find. As a constellation Orion has more bright stars than any other. The two brightest are Rigel and Betelgeuse (pronounced �beetle-juice�). Betelgeuse is a whopping 800 times larger than our sun whilst Rigel is many thousands of times brighter than the sun.

scale of planets

Also in the night sky at this time is the planet Saturn.