Named after The Hunter in Greek myth, the constellation Orion can be seen (in the northern hemisphere) from November until April. It contains some of the brightest stars in the sky, including Rigel and Betelgeuse. It also contains the Orion nebula and the Horsehead nebula.

(Moved from "constellation Orion" to here. )

This is what the constellation looks like. (the small dots are just to connect it...Meissa is the head) Do the star names sound familiar ? Well, most of these stars appeared in the classic game for Mac; Spaceward Ho!.

 o  .   o                          .       o
 .     .                         .          o
 .    .                      .                 .  
 .   .                   .

 .  .     Meissa   o  .    .
   .               .         . O Bellatrix
 .                         .     .
 . o              .      .
o   .                  .            .
 ' . .           .  .
      .          .                     .
        o  .    . 
             ' O Betelgeuse
                 .                        .
                    .    Mintaka   O . . . O
                       .           .           .
                        Alnilam   O                .
                              .   .                    .
                                O Alnitak                O Rigel

                                    .                 .

                                         .        .

                                             .  .
                                              O Saiph

To add to the excellent writeups above (especially bigmouth strike's ASCII drawing), Orion is one of the most recognizable constellations of all.

This is because most can easily identify the three brightest stars of Orion's belt, consisting of Mintaka (m2.23), Alnilam (m1.70) and Alnitak(m2.05) as they form a relatively straight line and are relatively bright.

The brightest star in Orion is Rigel with a magnitude of 0.12, followed by Betelgeuse at 0.50.

Most people can identify these three stars of Orion's belt together with Rigel and Saiph forming Orion's feet and Betelgeuse and Bellatrix forming Orion's shoulders.

compiled overview of the 75ton Orion 'Mech, from various BattleTech novels and game sourcebooks:

The ON1-K Orion is an ancient BattleMech design. Created by the Terran Hegemony as the first true heavy 'Mech, the Orion has acted as the brute force of major offensives for nearly five hundred years. Even today, the Orion is still a formidable 'Mech.

The original design was created to ensure the continued dominance of the Hegemony's 'Mechs. Commissioned in 2570, the Orion first saw action in the bloody Reunification Wars along the Periphery. The original Orion, the 1-C, did not have long-range missiles, and sported a Class 5 autocannon instead of the Class 10 it carries today.

The longevity of the Orion is due to the simple, efficient placement of systems within the 'Mech's roomy body. Techs enjoy working on Orions, marveling at the ease with which they can locate and replace faulty systems.

The Free Worlds League is the only Successor State currently manufacturing Orions. The other States only occasionally produce spare parts for their Orions.

The Kali Yama Class 10 Autocannon is a temperamental weapon. To the mystification of technicians who work on these 'Mechs, the autocannon ammunition feed system, which draws new rounds from the 'Mech's torso, fails on a fairly regular basis. Oddly enough, if only nineteen rounds instead of twenty are placed in the weapon's clip, the autocannon does not jam. The autocannon itself is placed awkwardly, restricting right arm movement, and can be jarred out of alignment when struck accidentally.

The DeathBloom15 long-range missile system is mounted on the Orion's left shoulder. The system launches fifteen missiles in a very concentrated pattern, which is effective against both ground and air vehicles. Unfortunately, the control cables of the missile launchers travel through a narrow shoulder area. Thus, the shoulder is subject to excessive heat, and the actuator and missile system frequently shuts down.

The other missile system, the Irian Weapon Works Class 4 SRM, consists of four tubes mounted around the medium laser on the left arm. Shooting short-range missiles, the system holds twenty-five rounds. Instead of four holes around the medium laser, the Orion sports six holes, the bottom two holes serving as hookup points for coolant hoses so that excess heat can be purged by coolant trucks.

The armor protection of the Orion is excellent. It carries a total of 14.5 tons of armor spread across its squat frame, far more than many 'Mechs its own size. The center torso is the best protected, while the rear torso is least protected. The armor coupled with its speed makes the Orion a formidable opponent.

The Orion BattleMech has a long, colorful history of battles, both large and small. In October of 2779, for example, Earth was liberated from the hands of Stefan the Usurper. General Aleksandr Kerensky, in his olive-drab Orion, accomplished the final act of this liberation by kicking open the thick palace gates. All who witnessed this act understood the fate of Stefan and his family.

In 2787, one of Minoru Kurita's initial acts as "First Lord of the Star League" was the virtual genocide of Eblar. After fighting off the garrison of Federated Suns 'Mechs, a regiment of Kurita Orion pilots poisoned the sole water supply of the planet's largest city. Millions died.

During the tenth battle for the Lyran planet of Hesperus II, Orions played a major role in the rout of Kurita forces. The relief force, led by Kommandant Katrina Steiner, left the planet from one hemisphere and dropped onto another hemisphere so swiftly that the enemy was caught totally off guard.

The Fifth Defenders of Andurien of the Free Worlds League is composed almost entirely of Orions. Veterans of many campaigns against the Lyran Commonwealth, they are one of the few units that do not apply new color schemes according to the type of battlefield in which they will fight. They choose to remain a royal purple, and have earned the nickname "The Hunters".

Note: Information used here was the domain of FASA before they split the rights between Wizkids LLC and Microsoft (table-top gaming and video games respectively). Copyright of the fluff text is in limbo, but names of persons, places, & things are without any doubt the property of Wizkids LLC. Use of any terms here related to the BattleTech trademark are not meant as a challenge to Wizkids LLC's rights.
It was Sunday, November 18th and we were watching the Leonids burn across the heavens. My friends Kaew, Nim, Pang, Pui and I had spread out a woven-plastic mat where we lay watching the sky.

After ninety minutes or so we started to get ready to go. As the others folded up the mat and collected items, Pui and I sat on the barrier at the side of the road. We looked at the stars together and she asked me if I knew anything about them. I pointed to Orion

"Well, I know that's one's Orion... 'the hunter'..."
I lowered my hand and she told me a story from her youth in Burma.

There was once a young man and woman who were very much in love. Their names were Cohn-sawn-law and Nahn-ooh-bean. They lived in the same village and spent as much time with each other as possible. But Cohn-sawn-law's stepmother didn't like them together and tried to drive them apart. Talking with her was fruitless so in the end Cohn-sawn-law and Nahn-ooh-bean thought it best to move together to another village.

Nahn-ooh-bean soon became pregnant and, although the two were not yet married, they were very happy and looked forward to raising a child together.

Shortly thereafter, Cohn-sawn-law received a message from his stepmother. It seemed that she had had a change of heartplease come back, his stepmother pleaded. The couple returned, but the stepmother hadn't changed at all. Still determined to separate the two, she sent Cohn-sawn-law off on a long business journey.

Cohn-sawn-law was gone for several months and Nahn-ooh-bean missed him terribly. As the months dragged on she become very sad and weak. Sadly, she miscarried their baby and this proved too much for her—she died of a broken heart.

Cohn-sawn-law returned to the village the next morning and heard of the deaths. He rushed to Nahn-ooh-beans parent's house and held her lifeless body to his. Through tears he said to her

"I love you... I love you so much that I will follow you so we can be together..."
As the words finish leaving his mouth he, too, died of heartbreak.

Friends of the couple built a funeral pyre and lay the two next to each other on it. As the smoke from their bodies rose into the blue-black sky two groups of stars started to appear. Cohn-sawn-law and Nahn-ooh-bean—together at last, in the night sky, forever.

While their friends weren't looking Cohn-sawn-law's stepmother quickly approached the pyre. Taking a three-segmented piece of bamboo she placed it between the couple. As the smoke from the bamboo rose, it's three segments become three stars that to this day separate the two lovers. Pui is now back in Burma, but I think of her whenever I look upon the night sky.
She changed my stars.

Back when I was lonely, fiery,
often I would stand
out on my small balcony,
crammed between pot-plants,
and I would question the sky.

Stars would be there, and among them Orion:
unflinching and austere,
the arch archer
meandering in spirals
through his frozen sparkling fields.

Now my nineteenth year
and I have learned about things
and I have learned about stars:
they die
you know.

Orion is dying.
It is a death so gradual
that it seems not death at all to us,
but for him, it is, I think,
a far more urgent sensation:
to be pried apart by cosmic tides
to be dissolved into quietness.
Built by stars and by accident,
Orion now is made unmade by the same.

This is sad to know:
that there is something killing in the stars.
And now, my nineteenth year,
I think I must believe a better thing:

that my archer’s being buried
slowly, gently, by stars and by accident;
that the constellations are
losing him, remembering him
inside themselves;
that now and then Orion lifts his fiery eyes, unseen,
and asks the lonely sky what’s best to do.

If this can all prove true,
then Orion’s choice, what’s best to do,
becomes our own. We answer what he asks the sky.
Because we are
Orion’s sky.

"Unlike other Gods, I am compassionate! But Buddha I ain't!"

Orion is a single-volume manga written and drawn by Masamune Shirow. Set roughly 200 million years ago, the Yamata People's Empire seeks to use its psychoscience to destroy all the negative karma in the universe. Unfortunately, as anyone how knows even a bit about Buddhism can tell you, the desire to rid oneself of a disease is a disease itself; this is bad news for our intrepid scientists. Essentially, the idea is that the princess, a woman of extraordinary spiritual power, will sacrifice herself to summon the 9-headed naga, who will consume all that nasty negative karma. Unfortunately, it will actually eat everything, and the only thing standing in its way is Susano, a proud, upstart, and rather homicidal deity, who turns out not to be that bad a guy, once you get to know him.

Essentially everything, from spaceships to weapons, are powered by mental energies. In one scene, it is shown that a spaceship is powered by a vast array of tanks, holding disembodied brains. The so-called 'boosters' hold artificial brains which enable the user to increase his own mental energy. Weapons, entertainment, everything is based on psychoscience and the Tendai Naga rituals.

The artwork has the familiar Shirow style, quite similar to Ghost in the Shell, and significantly more polished than his earlier work, Black Magic M-66. I would say that Orion is good, without being great. If you like Shirow, and are willing to wade through some rather confusing discussions about yin and yang, nagas, and gods, it's a pretty decent read. It will be very helpful if you know a bit about Buddhism, at least to the extent of knowing what an arahat and bodhisattva are; Orion goes way beyond most of his other works in terms of strange philosophical musings, and a reader who doesn't understand the terms and backgrounds he uses will most likely end up frustrated, bored and confused.

The 7th track on Metallica's third album Master of Puppets. The song is totally instrumental and lasts for about 8 minutes. About 5 of the 8 minutes of the song are solos, which really show Kirk Hammett's incredible ability as a guitarist. The song was recorded when Metallica's first bassist Cliff Burton was still with the band and Orion was mostly his composition.

Orion was Metallica's second instrumental song, the first being Call of Ktulu, from their album Ride the Lightning. And the third, final instrumental song by Metallica is To Live is to Die, from the album ...And Justice for All.

All instrumental songs by Metallica seem to have something to do with Cliff Burton. Both Call of Ktulu and Orion were written mostly by Cliff, and To Live is to Die is a tribute to Cliff Burton by Metallica.

In my opinion, Orion is the best song from the Master of Puppets album, and one of Metallica's greatest songs.

O*ri"on (?), n. [L., fr. Gr. , orig., a celebrated hunter in the oldest Greek mythology, after whom this constellation was named.] Astron.

A large and bright constellation on the equator, between the stars Aldebaran and Sirius. It contains a remarkable nebula visible to the naked eye.

The flaming glories of Orion's belt. E. Everett.


© Webster 1913.

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