Mythology – The Sword of Orion

Orion is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous and recognizable constellations in the night sky, and was named after Orion, a hunter in Greek mythology.

Orion has two first magnitude stars. Betelgeuse is in the left shoulder and Rigel in Orion’s right foot or knee. Bellatrix is one of the hotter naked eye stars radiating 6400 times the Sun’s luminosity. Three bright stars – Alnilam, Alnitak and Mintaka make up Orion’s belt. The sword comprises the cluster NGC 1981, the star c Orionis, the famous Orion Nebula, and the bright star Hatysa.

The distinctive pattern of Orion has been recognized in numerous cultures around the world, and many myths have been associated with it. It has also been used as a symbol in the modern world. The imagery of the belt and sword has found its way into popular western culture, for example in the form of the shoulder insignia of the 27th Infantry Division of the United States Army during both World Wars.

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s mythology surrounding Middle-earth, Orion is known as Menelvagor, which is Sindarin for “The Swordsman in the Sky.”

In the movie Blade Runner, the dying replicant Roy Batty introspectively delivers his “Tears in Rain” soliloquy:

“I’ve… seen things you people wouldn’t believe… Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those… moments… will be lost in time, like tears… in… rain. Time… to die…”

Sailors have marked the rising of Orion as a sign symboling the start of winter and harsh weather in the Northern hemisphere.

Inspired by WordPress Photo Challenge …. SYMBOL

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