by Rev. Mary B. O'Malley, MD, PhD ©2012
Photo by Fred Espenak, used with permission.
About the star: Mintaka, or Delta Orionis, is the westernmost of the three stars of that make up the belt in the constellation of Orion (see the bright middle belt star Alinilam, or Epsilon Orionis in the bottom left corner of the photo here). Mintaka is easily visible to the naked eye, on the right side of the constellation when viewed from the Northern Hemisphere facing South. Mintaka is actually a white-blue multi-star system: the bright star we call Mintaka is a blue giant that revolves around a much smaller class B giant star. The pair rotate about each other every 5.73 days. A third, fainter star orbits around them both with a period of 346 years. This star system is located so close to the celestial equator that its rising and setting follows an almost exact east and west direction. The group of stars that make up Orion's belt point toward the star Sirius in the constellation Canis Major.
All audio recordings are copyrighted intellectual property. They are for your personal listening use only.