Orion constellation. Orion, the hunter, is one of the best known constellations in the sky. Orion's belt is formed of three bright stars in a row, from left to right, Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka (Zeta, Epsilon and Delta Orionis respectively). At upper left is the red supergiant Betelgeuse (Alpha Orionis) while at lower right is the white supergiant Rigel (Beta Orionis). Below the belt is the sword of Orion, which contains the Orion nebula (M42), which is visible as a pink patch. Two bright stars in neighbouring constellations are also seen: at bottom left is Sirius (Alpha Canis Majoris) in Canis Major, and at upper right is Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) in Taurus.
© Eckhard Slawik/Science Photo Library
The star-forming region NGC 2024 in the constellation Orion
The spectacular star-forming region known as the Flame Nebula, or NGC 2024, in the constellation of Orion and its surroundings. Taken in infrared wavelengths, the cluster of very young stars at the objectas heart is revealed. Also visible is the glow of the reflection nebula NGC 2023, just below centre, and the ghostly outline of the Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33) towards the lower right. The bright bluish star towards the right is one of the three bright stars forming the Belt of Orion.
© Robert Gendler/Stocktrek Images