Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More fun with Orion

Thanks for the emails about the other nebulae in Orion; I'm aware of them, and here's a cool photo of a few! The bright stars to the left form Orion's belt - at the top corner is Zeta Orionis, or "Alnitak" (its original Arabic name, meaning "girdle"), which happens to be a triple star, followed by  Epsilon Orionis, or "Alnilam," ("string of pearls") and Delta Orionis, or "Mintaka," (or "belt") a double star.  Just to the right of Mintaka you can see the tiny, rearing head of the "Horsehead Nebula." To the upper right is "the Great Nebula in Orion," which is visible to the naked eye, and at roughly 1,344 light years away, is the closest region of star formation to the Earth.  Yes, as you can see, heaven is a busy place.  Tomorrow: the Lyric's Nicholas Nickleby.

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