Father Of The Minotaur
Taurus Constellation Of The Bull

The Taurus constellation is one of the many animals hunted by Orion the Hunter.

It also represents the white bull that sired the famous Minotaur with the wife of King Minos of Crete. This bull was sent to Minos as a sign that he was the rightful heir to the throne.

However, Minos did not sacrifice the bull to Poseidon like he was supposed to, so the ever-vengeful sea god caused his queen, Pasiphaë, to fall in love with it.

Later, in another myth, Theseus of Athens goes to Crete and slays the dreadful Minotaur, which was reported to be a man with a bull's head that could breathe fire.

In Greek mythology Taurus was identified with Zeus who assumed the form of a magnificent white bull to abduct Europa a legendary Phoenician princess.

In illustrations of Greek mythology, only the front portion of this constellation are depicted; this was sometimes explained as Taurus being partly submerged as he carried Europa out to sea.

They had 3 children, the oldest of which was Minos.

A second Greek myth portrays Taurus as Io a mistress of Zeus. To hide his lover from his wife Hera, Zeus changed Io into the form of a heifer.

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star field Taurus constellation
Taurus constellation outline

The brightest star in the constellation is the orange-red star Aldebaran. This is the eye of the bull. Shown in this picture near the bottom center

Right Ascension: 4 hours

Declination: 15 degrees

Visible between latitudes +90 degrees and -65 degrees

Best seen in January at 9:00 PM local time

Some of the stars in the constellation:

ALDEBARAN (Alpha Tauri) ALNATH (Beta Tauri) Hyadum I (Gamma Tauri) Hyadum II (Delta 1 Tauri)

Taurus is a large and prominent constellation in the northern hemisphere's winter sky, with Aries to the west and Gemini to the east.

To the north lie Perseus and Auriga.

To the southeast Orion, to the south Eridanus and to the southwest Cetus.

There are a number of features of interest to astronomers. The Taurus constellation hosts two of the nearest open star clusters to Earth, both of which are visible to the naked eye.

In the northeastern quadrant of the Taurus constellation lie the Pleiades(M45), one of the best known open clusters.

The seven most prominent stars in this cluster are at least visual magnitude six, and so the cluster is also named the "Seven Sisters". However, many more stars are visible with even a modest telescope.

The Hyades, to the right of the eye, are an open cluster whose brightest stars-Gamma, Epsilon, Delta and Theta form a "V" shape. All four are located within a few light years of each other.

Aldebaran though is not a part of the Hyades.

In October, between the 18th and the 29th, both the Northern Taurids and the Southern Taurids  meteor showers are active.

During November, the Taurids meteor shower appears to radiate from the general direction of this constellation.

Surf And Turf?

See the Crab Nebula easily with the Orion XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope
crab nebula M1

photo courtesy and © T. Credner & S. Kohle, www.AlltheSky.com

No it's not lobster but crab.

In the northwest part of Taurus is the supernova remnant Messier 1(M1). Commonly known as the Crab Nebula. This expanding nebula was created by a type 2 supernova explosion, which was seen from Earth on July 4, 1054.

It was bright enough to be observed during the day. At its peak the supernova reached magnitude −4, but the nebula is currently magnitude 8.4 and requires a telescope to observe.

Taurus is one of the oldest constellations. During the Bronze Age it marked the location of the Sun during the spring equinox. This point moved to Aries over time and now is actually in Pisces...because of precession.

› Taurus The Bull
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