Orion Rising – Colorado Nightsky
Lets return to Orion for a second because although he is a Winter Constellation he is important to our discussion of the dominant Summer Constellation, Scorpius.
One story in Mythology tells us that Orion boasted that he would kill every animal on Earth. Fearing this, the gods sent an armored scorpion to attack Orion which successfully stung him making them eternal enemies. This is why today you will never see Orion and Scorpius in the sky together because they are in Opposite quadrants in the sky. Some observers even suggest that as Orion chases the Pleiades across the Earth, Scorpius is in pursuit of Orion.
So here we have part of the Constellation Scorpius and our big Summer event, the Summer Milky Way. Obscured by the mountain in this image the stinger stars of Scorpius, Shaula and Lesath which lie within our Milky Way band.
Summer Milky Way Diagram
Constellation Scorpius’ Bright Stars: Shaula, Lesath, and Antares
Antares is the 16th brightest star in the sky and the feature star of Scorpius. It is know as the “Heart of the Scorpion”. Like Betelgeuse that we saw in Orion, Antares is a Red Supergiant that could supernova at any point – Astronomically speaking.
The word Antares is Greek for Rivaling Mars, perhaps to deceive as it is the same general color as Mars and nearly as bright.
The Summer Milky Way is an on edge view of our galaxy. If you looked at a frisbee our view is not face-on like when you look at the top of the frisbee but closer to viewing the short side wall.
In the Summer we look into the Sagittarius Arm and toward the center of our galaxy. In the Winter we look into the Orion arm and out towards intergalactic space.
The Egyptians were the first to associate our galaxy with Milk believing that it was a pool of cow’s milk which they worshipped as a fertility cow-goddess called Bat.
Many Native American cultures refer to the On Edge View of our Galaxy as a River or Road often for migration or for transit into another world.
The Inca believe that the Milky Way is runoff from Vilcanota River and ties heaven to Earth. The river and milky way are said to be mirror images of one another. The Milky Way was viewed as a path to the Upperworld for the souls of the deceased and that dreams of the living were views into this world.
We actually can not see the center because visible light is blocked from large clouds of gas and dust. Astronomers today look towards our galactic center by detecting light outside of the visible spectrum such as Microwave and X-ray.
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More from Youth Presentation
Part 1: Who is Orion in Mythology?
Part 2: What is Orion’s relationship with the Pleiades?
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