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What is the Meaning of Mintaka?


Mintaka is the name of the seventh brightest star in the constellation Orion. The star forms the westernmost jewel in the hunter’s belt along with central Alnilam and eastern Alnitak originally known as “the string of pearls” or “the great one’s belt.” Mintaka is closest to the celestial equator, only a quarter of a degree to the south, the star rising and setting almost exactly east and west.

The star is wonderfully complex. Mintaka is actually a double star when viewed with appropriate magnification. The two stars orbit each other every 5.73 days. The name Mintaka derives from the Arabic Al Mintakah, which means 'the belt' as it is the first star seen in that portion of the rising constellation Orion. Ancient astrologers considered it of importance as portending good fortune and it is a "steady" star.

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Constellation with Mintaka


Image source: Astronomy Online