Taurus

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Abbreviation:  Tau
English Name:  The Bull
Genitive: Aldebaran
Hemisphere: Northern and Southern Hemisphere. (Bold means the more area in square feet in Southern Hemisphere.)
Location: Between the constellations of Orion and Aries.
Visible between latitudes:  +90 and -65 degrees
Best season: Winter
Seen in three seasons: Autumn, Winter and Spring
Best seen in:  January
Seen between: October and March
Right Ascension (RA): 04 hour
Declination (DEC): +15 degrees
Area (square degrees): 797 (17th)

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Taurus (The Bull)

  • Just northwest of Orion, Taurus is an outstanding northern constellation containing two of the largest Open Clusters – The Hyades and The Pleiades, also known as The Seven Sisters -both striking groups of stars.
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  • In the sky, the Hyades Cluster marks the bull’s face, while the red giant star (Aldebaran) forms the creature’s bloodshot eye.
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  • Our Sun passes through Taurus from 14 May to 21st June every year.

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Messier Objects in Taurus

M1 – Supernova remnant; it was seen from Earth in AD 1054 – detectable in binoculars under good conditions, rather faint (around magnitude: +9.0).
M45 – Open Cluster; also known as Messier 45 (M45), Seven Sisters or The Pleiades, large and bright – easy to see with the naked-eye and superb sight through binoculars. Under perfect conditions, the reflection nebulosity around Merope (NGC 1435) may be glimpsed with large binoculars.
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Messier Objects in Taurus

Select CatalogNo of Objects
Barnard (B)22x objects
Caldwell (C)1x object
Collinder (Cr)6x objects
New General Catalogue (NGC)48x objects
Index Catalogue (IC)44x objects
Sharpless (Sh2)9x objects

Features of Interest

  • Hyades – Open Cluster; known as Melotte 25 (Mel25), the second closest open cluster, stars appears spread over a considerable area of the sky and its moving cluster – the star Aldebaran (see below) appears to be a member, but is in fact much closer to us and not part of the cluster.

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Named Stars

  • Aldebaran (Alpha Tau)
  • Alnath (Beta Tau)
  • Hyadum I (Gamma Tau)
  • Hyadum II (Delta 1 Tau)
  • Ain (Epsilon Tau)
  • Alcyone (Eta Tau)
  • Celaeno (16 Tau)
  • Electra (17 Tau)
  • Taygeta (19 Tau)
  • Maia (20 Tau)
  • Asterope (21 Tau)
  • Sterope II (22 Tau)
  • Merope (23 Tau)
  • Atlas (27 Tau)
  • Pleione (28 Tau)
  • more list of stars in Taurus

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IAU Sky Chart: Taurus


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Constellations – Visible from the UK

AndromedaAquariusAquilaAriesAuriga
BoötesCamelopardalisCancerCanes VenaticiCanis Major
Canis MinorCapricornusCassiopeiaCepheusComa Berenices
Corona BorealisCygnusDelphinusDracoEquuleus
GeminiHerculesLacertaLeoLeo Minor
LibraLynx LyraMonocerosOphiuchus
OrionPegasusPerseusPiscesSagitta
Serpens CaputSerpens CaudaSextansTaurusTriangulum
Ursa MajorUrsa MinorVirgoVulpecula
(44 constellations above are visible from the United Kingdom.)

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Parts visible from the UK

AntliaColumbaEridanusFornaxMicroscopium
Piscis AustrinusPuppisPyxisSagittariusScorpius
(10 constellations above are partially visible from the United Kingdom.)

(Only 10 of them even in part from the United Kingdom.)

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Constellations: Southern Celestial Hemisphere
…..never seen from the UK

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Back to Constellation Names

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