The constellation called ‘Orion’ is currently prominent in the night sky from around 9pm in Eastern Australia. An area of the constellation is said to represent Orion’s ‘belt’, also known by some Australians as the ‘Saucepan’. The middle ‘star’ of Orion’s dagger, or the ‘handle of the Saucepan’ is not a star at all, but a huge cloud of gas and dust. Located about 1500 light years from us, it is a region where new stars are forming. Through a small telescope it is one of the most spectacular sights in the sky at present.
The Hubble Space Telescope’s panoramic view of the Great Nebula in Orion. Courtesy NASA,ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA) and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team