Tuesday 19 September 2017 - 21:57:01 Posted by  Bobby

 Mythology of Taurus

This imposing constellation of the zodiac lies between Aries and Gemini. It represents the bull into which the Greek god Zeus transformed himself to abduct Princess Europa of Phoenicia. Zeus then swam to Crete with the princess on his back. The constellation represents the front half of the bull's body - the part visible above the Mediterranean waves. It contains two major star clusters, the Pleiades and Hyades. In mythology, the Pleiades were the seven daughters of Atlas and Pleione, and the cluster is also known as the Seven Sisters; the Hyades were the daughters of Atlas and Aethra. In the sky, the Hyades cluster marks the bull's face, while the red giant star Aldebaran forms the creature's bloodshot eye. The tips of the bull's horns are marked by Beta and Zeta Tauri, magnitudes 1.7 and 3.0. The Sun passes through Taurus from May 14th to June 21st.

 The Facts

  • Depiction: The Bull
  • Pronounced: TOR-us
  • Genitive: Tauri
  • Abbreviation: Tau
  • Highest in the Sky: December to January
  • Size Ranking: 17th
  • Coverage Area: 797 Sq. Degrees
  • Right Acension: 4 hours
  • Declination: 15°
  • Visibility: 90°N to 56°S

 Notable Objects

  • M1: Crab Nebula
  • M45: Pleiades
  • NGC 1647: Open cluster
  • NGC 1746: Open cluster

 Named Stars

  • Aldebaran, Alpha Tauri
  • Elnath, Beta Tauri
  • Hyadum I, Gamma Tauri
  • Hyadum II, Delta Tauri
  • Ain, Epsilon Tauri

 Best Viewed Objects/Stars

Alpha Tauri (Aldebaran)

 A red giant star that varies irregularly in brightness between magnitudes 0.75 and 0.95. Although it appears to be a member of the Hyades cluster, it is actually much close to us, being 65 light-years away.

Theta Tauri

 A wide double star in the Hyades cluster. Observers with good eyesight can divide the two stars with the naked eye. Theta-1 is a yellow giant, magnitude 3.8; Theta-2 is a white giant of magnitude 3.4, the brightest member of the Hyades.

Lambda Tauri

 An eclipsing binary star of the same type as Algol. It ranges between magnitudes 3.4 and 3.9 in a cycle lasting under 4 days.

M1 (The Crab Nebula)

 The remains of a supernova that was seen from Earth in AD 1054. Under excellent conditions it can be found with binoculars or a mall telescope, but a moderate aperture is needed to see it well. It is elliptical in shape, appearing midway in size between the disk of a planet and the full Moon. It lies about 6,500 light-years away.

M45 (The Pleiades)

 A large, bright open star cluster, easy to see with the naked eye and a superb sight through binoculars, appearing almost four times wider than the full Moon. Its brightest star is Eta Tauri (Alcyone), a blue-white giant of magnitude 2.9. Those with normal eyesight can see about six stars, but dozens are visible through binoculars or a small telescope.

The Hyades

 A large, loose V-shaped star cluster easily visible to the naked eye. It is best viewed with binoculars because of its considerable size, being scattered across the apparent width of 10 full Moons. The cluster lies about 150 light-years away.

 Where to?

Back To List 

Up Next- Telescopium 



5/5 : 1 Vote

Share this


Username or Email:


[ ]
[ ]
[ ]