Many people don’t realize all the objects in the night time sky. When people look at the night sky, they don’t notice that they can see an object that could be light years away! Since the beginning, Greeks had stories about the stars and how their patterns looked like different things, each one teaching a lesson about life.

Orion is the easily seen in the winter and spring night sky. The easiest way to find Orion is to go outside in the evening, and if you are in the northern hemisphere look in the southwest sky, if you are the southern hemisphere look toward the northwestern sky. If you live  near the equator, Orion will be visible in the western sky at night. You are looking for three bright stars that are very close together and seem to be in a straight line. These three stars represent Orion’s belt. The two bright stars to the north are his shoulders and the two to the south are his feet.

According to one version of the mythology, Orion was the son of an poor shepherd called Hyrieus. Once Zeus,  Hermes, and Poseidon stopped by Hyrieu’s house. Hyrieus was so generous with his guests that he killed  an ox (the only animal he had).

Hyrieus didn’t know that his guests were gods. The gods wanted to reward Hyrieus’ generosity, so they told him that he could have one wish. Hyrieus’ biggest desire was to have a child of his own. The gods told him to bury the hide of the bull he had sacrificed to them and to urinate on it.

After nine months, a boy was born in the place where the ox’s  dead corpse was buried. The child became a very charming and strong man. Orion was such a good hunter that he was hired by the king Oenopion to kill the ferocious beasts that were terrifying the people of the island Chios. Happy for his success, Orion said he would kill all the wild animals on the earth.

But the earth goddess Gaia, who was the mother of all animals, was not pleased with Orion’s intention.  Gaia set an enormous scorpion (Scorpio, in Latin, another constellation) on Orion. Orion soon realized that his strength and sword were useless and no match against that mighty beast. He tried to escape, but the scorpion stung him to death. As a reward, Gaia placed the scorpion in the sky as a constellation which appears to be constantly chasing after Orion whose figure was also placed among the stars. That’s why you will never see Scorpio and Orion together in the sky at the same time. Orion’s last wish was that he never be in the sky as the same time as the scorpion. Thus, Scorpius rules the northern hemisphere’s summer skies while Orion rules the winter skies.

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