Orion 3-D

Make a three dimensional model of the Orion.

A map of Orion with stars distances marked in Light Years, LY.

Material

Master pattern for big dipper below.
28 clear plastic deli trays (These are 14 hunged trays cut in half, trays such as DART C90HT, or Reynolds 1757 available from Restaurant supply stores in bulk at \$0.12 to \$0.25)
scissors
tape or double sided tape
Sharpie, or other marker to write on plastic.

Cut the bottoms and tops of the deli containers apart. Set aside the tops of the containers they can be used as well but you should always use tops with tops and bottoms with bottoms.

Print the Orion pattern on a piece of paper.

Cut the Orion pattern to size so that it will fit inside one of the deli containers.

Then tape the pattern into the container.

This deli tray will serve to position all the subsequent deli trays.

Drop an empty deli tray into the deli tray that has been taped to the paper master.

Make a stack of 13 deli trays and place it to one side of the stack you are creating.

You will position your eye straight above the middle of Orion's belt, at the exact height of these 14 trays, this is the distance to earth. This gives you the exact view of the Orion stars we have from earth. Keep your eye in this position. (Perhaps use a chenile stem to create a viewer?)

Draw the star, e, the middle star of Orion's belt onto this tray, which will represent a distance of 1300 LY from earth. Also draw the Orion nebula, M42 on this tray.

Place 3 empty trays on top of this one these represent 1200,1100, and 1000 LY.

Add one more tray. Mark the star, d, the right star of the belt, onto this tray which represents a distance of 900 LY.

Note keep your eye in the same position as you mark this star. You should see the middle star of Orion's belt which you just marked exactly in line with the same star drawn on the paper master. Your eye should be at the correc height of 14 trays.

Continue marking stars on trays at, 800, and 700 LY.

Place 2 empty trays on top of these representing 600, and 500 LY.

Then place one more tray representing 400 LY

Mark Betelgeuse on this 400 LY tray.

Place one last tray for 200LY on top of this one.

Once again position your eye over the middle of Orion's belt at the level of the 13 trays and mark the star,g, Bellatrix at Orion's shoulder, on the line between your eye and the drawing on the bottom tray. This will be tricky to mark because it is so close to your eye.

You now have a 3 dimensional model of Orion.

Rotate the stack of trays and view the Orion from many different directions

See how it looks from behind.

See how it looks from the side.

 Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty © 2007 11 November 2007