1.3 Mapping the stars
Looking again at the constellation Orion, you can see that there are many stars in the constellation that are not labelled.
All the main stars in the constellation of Orion have names. They have ‘scientific’ names and ‘historical’ names. Here are two pictures of Orion; in one, the stars are labelled with their scientific name and in the other, they are labelled with their historical name.
Usually, the brightest star is given the designation ‘Alpha’. So the brightest star in the Orion constellation is known as ‘Alpha Orionis’ or ‘Alpha Ori’ for short. It is also called ‘Betelgeuse’.
How many stars are there? We don’t know! We can’t see them all. When we look at the night sky, all the stars we can see with the naked eye are in our own Galaxy, the Milky Way.
In the next section you’ll find out about the European Space Agency mission to study the stars.