Among the winter constellations, Orion, without a doubt, is the crown of the winter sky. Next to “The Hunter” are located the hunting dogs (Canis Major and Canis Minor), and the Bull (Taurus), which form a magnificent view.
Orion is one of the most prominent constellations on the sky. It represents a hunter with a shield in one hand and raising a mace with the other. The Orion’s belt is another well-known asterism – three stars in line with almost equal distance in between. The famous Orion’s nebula is located at the end of his sward, which is hanging from his belt. The legend says that Orion was such a skillful hunter so he claimed that there is no creature on earth that he cannot defeat. Such inappropriate statement upset the goddess Gaia, and she decided to kill the hunter. Gaia sent a giant scorpion to do the job. Even though Orion was a skilled hunter, the scorpion managed to sting him on the heel. After the battle both Orion and the scorpion received their place on the sky, but on the opposite parts of the sky so that they can never engage in battle again.
Taurus is a winter constellations of the zodiac, and it’s probably the one with the greatest historical importance. Back in the ancient times people celebrated the arriving of the spring. That happens when the Sun is positioned in constellation Taurus, the Bull. That’s the time when river Nile overflowed its banks to give water to the land.
The story about Taurus involves Zeus who was charmed by Europa’s beauty and felled in love with her. Her father was the king of Tyre and his servants were constantly guarding his daughter. On day Zeus decided to change into a beautiful white bull with golden horns. When Europa was walking along the beach, she noticed the incredible animal and she could not resist of going up to it. She climbed onto his back and grabbed his horns. And that’s how Zeus abducted Europa.
The brightest star in the sky, Sirius, resides in this winter constellation. The ancient Egyptians believed that Sirius had powers that caused the flooding of river Nile. They also build their temples such that they faced the point from where Sirius rose at dawn. One of the myths about this hunting dog is that it was a gift from Zeus to Europa.
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