"The Shoulder and Knee Stars of Winter's Most Famous Constellation, Orion the Hunter"

Scheduled air date: 2002 Jan 21-27

The four bright stars which form the shoulders and knees of the constellation Orion the Hunter—Betelgeuse, Bellatrix, Rigel and Saiph—are all giants many times larger than our own Sun.
(Shown around 8:00 PM late January/early February for mid-Northern latitudes.)

Bellatrix is 3 times larger than our Sun, Saiph is 38 times larger, Rigel is 60 times larger, and Betelgeuse pulses between an incredible 500 to 900 times larger than our Sun!
(The above illustrates the relative sizes of the stars, and not their positions.)

If you wish to view illustrations for other episodes, please see our Star Gazer Illustrated directory.

Illustrations on this page were created using TheSky Astronomy Software, an advanced desktop planetarium program designed for Windows.

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