THE BIG SKY

Canal Boat - - Boater’s Break - WITH SEB JAY

WIN­TER BRINGS OUT the hunts­man. He’s an iconic char­ac­ter with a big ce­les­tial story to tell. To find him, look to­wards your south on a clear Jan­uary evening. You’ll likely no­tice his belt first; three bright white stars slung to­gether in a line that means so much to Men

InBlack afi­ciona­dos. But Orion is much big­ger than his belt. A gi­ant rec­tan­gle of four bright stars en­close the belt, mark­ing out Orion’s shoul­ders and feet. Above his fiery or­ange left shoul­der he holds a club aloft; off his right shoul­der he draws his bow, and from his belt hangs his sword.

This guy really is the An­cient Greeks’ ver­sion of Ac­tion Man. Dig a lit­tle deeper though and our Hunts­man yields some truly stel­lar se­crets. Switch your view to binoc­u­lars and train them on the sword. No­tice that un­even cloud of misty light? It’s a stel­lar nurs­ery where new stars are be­ing born. Now take a closer look at Orion’s left shoul­der. That fiery or­ange star is Betel­geuse – a red su­per­giant 950 times big­ger than our sun, on the verge of ex­plod­ing as a su­per­nova. It’s birth and death in the uni­verse inside one con­stel­la­tion.

Orion: The con­stel­la­tion of Orion is much big­ger than just Orion’s Belt Im­age Credit Seb Jay

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