Of all the constellations visible in the night sky, Orion "The Hunter" is perhaps one of the most easily recognized.
Straddling the celestial equator, it is well placed for observations this time of year and, unlike many other constellations, it actually looks like its mythological symbol.
The stars outlining the shape of The Hunter are bright and easy to spot and can be used as signposts to other constellations -- but look within its boundaries to find some real treasures.
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Perhaps the most famous star marking the north eastern shoulder -- or, more accurately, the armpit -- of the giant hunter is Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star. At magnitude 0.4 it's the second brightest star in Orion and to the naked eye looks distinctly red in color. As a red supergiant, it is nearing the end of its life and in the near future (possibly within the next 100,000 years) it will explode as a supernova, an explosion so great that it will be visible in the daytime sky.