Taurus (constellation)

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Template:Infobox Constellation Taurus (Latin for bull, symbol Image:Taurus symbol.png, Unicode ♉) is one of the constellations of the zodiac. It sits large and prominent in the winter sky, between Aries to the west and Gemini to the east; to the north lie Perseus and Auriga, to the southeast Orion, and to the southwest Eridanus and Cetus.


Notable features

One of the few first magnitude stars in the sky, the bright red Aldebaran, sits in the middle of this constellation. The horns of the bull stretch off to the west, marked by β Tau, traditionally shared with Auriga) and ζ Tau.

Notable deep sky objects

In the east of the constellation lies one of the best known open clusters, easily visible to the eye, the Pleiades.

Behind Aldebaran lie the Hyades, the nearest distinct open star cluster, that with it form a V in the sky marking the bull's head.

Another object, visible in a telescope, is the Crab Nebula (M1), a supernova remnant northeast of Zeta. The explosion, seen on Earth on July 4, 1054, was bright enough to be seen by day. It is mentioned in Chinese history texts and Native American pottery.


The identification of the constellation of Taurus as a bull may be quite old. Dr Michael Rappenglück of the University of Munich [1] believes that Taurus is represented in the Hall of the Bulls in the caves at Lascaux. The paintings are some 16,500 years old. One of the painted bulls is near a cluster of dots that looks like the Pleiades, and which is the correct position over its shoulder to be that asterism. The same pattern is found in pits in the floor, which could have been filled with oil and lit to recreate the lights of the Pleiades inside the cave, though there is no evidence that this actually happened.

In Greek mythology, this corresponds with the bull-form Zeus took in order to win Europa, a mythical Phoenician princess, and thus father of Minos. As such, since it is necessary to traverse the area of sky known as the Sea to reach it when passing through the Zodiac, it forms the origin of the myth of the Cretan Bull, one of The Twelve Labours of Herakles.


In Western Astrology the sun is in the sign of Taurus from April 20 to May 20 in the tropical zodiac and May 14 to June 19 in the sidereal zodiac.

In the tropical zodiac it represents the newly re-established life of springtime. In siderial astrology it is associated with the constellation Taurus and is associated with the Greek myth of the bull-form taken by Zeus in order to win Europa.

Notable and named stars

BD F Names and other designations Mag. Ly away Comments
α87Aldebaran, Alpha Tauri, Cor Tauri, Parilicium0.8765.1
  • الدبران ad-dabarān The follower [of the Pleiades]
  • cor tauri The heart of the bull
β112Beta Tauri, El Nath, Alnath, Nath1.65131
  • النطح an-naţħ The butting (horn)
η25Alcyone, Eta Tauri2.85440
ζ123Zeta Tauri, Tien Kwan, Alheka2.97417
θ²78Theta-2 Tauri3.40153
λ35Lambda Tauri3.41370
ε74Epsilon Tauri, Ain, Oculus Borealus3.53155
ο1Omicron Tauri3.61212
27Atlas, 27 Tauri3.62440
γ54Gamma Tauri, Hyadum I, Prima Hyadum, Primus Hyadum3.63154
17Electra, 17 Tauri3.72440
ξ2Xi Tauri3.73222
δ¹61Delta-1 Tauri, Hyadum II, Secunda Hyadum, Secundus Hyadum3.77153
θ¹77Theta-1 Tauri3.84153
20Maia, 20 Tauri3.87440
ν38Nu Tauri3.91129
23Merope, 23 Tauri4.14440
f55 Tauri4.14
κ¹65Kappa-1 Tauri4.21148
d8888 Tauri4.25
μ49Mu Tauri4.27435
τ73Tau Tauri4.27401
9090 Tauri4.27
υ69Upsilon Tauri4.28155
1010 Tauri4.29
δ³68Delta-3 Tauri, 68 Tauri4.30148
q19Taygeta, Taÿgete, 19 Tauri4.30440
119119 Tauri, CE Tauri4.32
3737 Tauri4.36
7171 Tauri4.48
136136 Tauri4.56
ι102Iota Tauri4.62163
ρ86Rho Tauri4.65152
σ²92Sigma-2 Tauri4.67155
π73Pi Tauri4.69455
δ²64Delta-2 Tauri, 64 Tauri4.80146
139139 Tauri4.81
4747 Tauri4.84
126126 Tauri4.84
o114114 Tauri4.88
132132 Tauri4.88
134134 Tauri4.89
m104104 Tauri4.91
ω²50Omega-2 Tauri4.93291
n109109 Tauri4.96
7575 Tauri4.96
φ52Phi Tauri4.97342
111111 Tauri5.00
b7979 Tauri5.02
28Pleione, 28 Tauri, BU Tauri5.05440
σ¹91Sigma-1 Tauri5.08155
e3030 Tauri5.08
i9797 Tauri5.08
r6666 Tauri5.10
s44 Tauri5.14
4141 Tauri5.18
125125 Tauri5.18
ψ42Psi Tauri5.2190.0
5858 Tauri5.26
κ²67Kappa-2 Tauri, 67 Tauri5.27148
l106106 Tauri5.28
133133 Tauri5.28
4646 Tauri5.29
4040 Tauri5.32
u2929 Tauri5.34
5656 Tauri5.34
121121 Tauri5.37
χ59Chi Tauri5.38268
p4444 Tauri5.39
8383 Tauri5.40
115115 Tauri5.40
16Celaeno, 16 Tauri5.45440
9393 Tauri5.45
3636 Tauri5.46
8181 Tauri5.47
118118 Tauri5.47
130130 Tauri5.47
5353 Tauri5.50
103103 Tauri5.50
ω¹43Omega-1 Tauri5.5193.5
116116 Tauri5.52
7272 Tauri5.53
122122 Tauri5.53
135135 Tauri5.54
1212 Tauri5.55
h5757 Tauri5.58
8080 Tauri5.58
137137 Tauri5.60
3232 Tauri5.62
21Asterope, Sterope I, 21 Tauri5.64440
5151 Tauri5.64
6363 Tauri5.64
1818 Tauri5.66
3131 Tauri5.66
120120 Tauri5.67
1313 Tauri5.68
4545 Tauri5.71
6060 Tauri5.72
131131 Tauri5.72
t66 Tauri5.76
117117 Tauri5.77
8989 Tauri5.78
k9898 Tauri5.79
9999 Tauri5.79
105105 Tauri5.84
3939 Tauri5.90
7676 Tauri5.90
77 Tauri5.95
129129 Tauri6.00
8585 Tauri6.01
3333 Tauri6.05
9696 Tauri6.09
110110 Tauri6.09
1111 Tauri6.11
1414 Tauri6.13
9595 Tauri6.18
113113 Tauri6.23
108108 Tauri6.26
8484 Tauri6.28
2424 Tauri6.3
4848 Tauri6.31
6262 Tauri6.34
141141 Tauri6.36
22Asterope, Sterope II, 22 Tauri 6.43440
7070 Tauri6.44
2626 Tauri6.47
99 Tauri6.72
101101 Tauri6.75
5555 Tauri6.85
HD 371247.68
  • has 2 planets
T Tauri9.60
RV Tauri9.60
Crab Pulsar

Source: The Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed., The Hipparcos Catalogue, ESA SP-1200 Bold text

See also

Astronomy | Constellations of the Zodiac | Astrology

Aries (Image:Aries symbol.png) | Taurus (Image:Taurus symbol.png) | Gemini (Image:Gemini symbol.png) | Cancer (Image:Cancer symbol.png) | Leo (Image:LeoLion symbol.png) | Virgo (Image:Virgo symbol.png) | Libra (Image:Libra symbol.png) | Scorpius/Scorpio (Image:Scorpio symbol.png) | Ophiuchus | Sagittarius (Image:Sagittarius symbol.png) | Capricornus/Capricorn (Image:Capricorn symbol.png) | Aquarius (Image:Aquarius symbol small.png) | Pisces (Image:Pisces symbol.png)

Template:ConstellationsListedByPtolemy Template:ConstellationList

External links


ca:Taurus cs:Býk (souhvězdí) da:Tyren (stjernebillede) de:Stier (Sternbild) es:Tauro eo:Taŭro (zodiako) fr:Taureau (constellation) he:מזל שור ko:황소자리 io:Tauro id:Taurus it:Toro (astronomia) ka:კურო la:Taurus (sidus) lt:Tauras (astronomija) hu:Bika (csillagkép) nl:Stier (sterrenbeeld) ja:おうし座 pl:Byk (gwiazdozbiór) pt:Taurus ru:Телец (созвездие) sk:Súhvezdie Býk sl:Bik (ozvezdje) fi:Härkä (tähdistö) sv:Oxen th:กลุ่มดาววัว zh:金牛座