If you look about due south around 9 p.m. your local time this week, you may see a familiar sight dominating our winter skies: the Great Hunter or Celestial Warrior, Orion, the most brilliant of the constellations and visible from every inhabited part of the Earth.

This Orion constellation sky map shows what the famed star pattern will look like in the winter skies of the Northern Hemisphere, weather permitting.

As is also the case with the mighty Hercules, the figure of Orion has been associated in virtually all ancient cultures with great national heroes, warriors or demigods. Yet, in contrast to Hercules, who was credited with a detailed series of exploits, Orion seems to us a vague and shadowy figure.