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Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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34Orion, The Hunter

NAME: Orion (oh-RYE-un)

SEASON: Early winter

CULMINATION: midnight, 13 December

ABBREVIATION: Ori

GENITIVE: Orionis (or-ee-OWN-is)

NEIGHBORS: Eri, Gem, Lep, Mon, Tau

BINOCULAR OBJECTS: NGC 1662, NGC 1981, NGC 1976 (M 42), NGC 2068 (M 78), NGC 2169

URBAN OBJECTS: NGC 1981, NGC 1976 (M 42), NGC 2169

Orion is a mid-size equatorial constellation that ranks 26th in size among the 88 constellations. Orion covers 594 square degrees of the celestial sphere, or about 1.4%. Orion is the most impressive constellation in the sky, and the one most likely to be familiar even to non-astronomers. The hourglass asterism of Orion is as familiar to most people as the Big Dipper or Plough asterism of Ursa Major. Orion includes two of the sky’s ...

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