Short Constellation Guide

12 Signs of the Zodiac

Sternbilder Aries Pisces Aquarius Capricorn Sagitarius Scorpio Libra Virgo Leo Cancer Gemini Taurus

The Bull (Taurus)

The Bull is one of the most famous constellations; it may have been invented by the Babylonians. It is a symbol of spring. It sits in the winter sky, large and striking, between the Ram (in the West) and the Twins (in the East).

From mythology – an interesting story that has been told for many centuries

In Greek mythology, Taurus represents Zeus, the king of the gods, who transformed himself into a white bull with golden horns in order to seduce the lovely maiden Europa. When Europa sat on the bull’s back, Zeus abducted her and swam to Crete with her on his back. That’s why only the head and the front part of the bull are visible to us in the constellation.

Finding the constellation in the sky

For observations in Central European latitudes at 10:00 pm, the Bull appears first in the month of September in the east; in late December, it reaches its greatest height over the horizon, and sinks in March under the westerly horizon. The Bull is a shining constellation, and it can be identified by a number of unmistakable characteristics: these include the bright orange- red star Aldebaran (Alpha Tauri) and two open clusters, the Hyades and the Pleiades. Of these objects, the easiest to find is probably the Pleiades, a thick and luminous stellar spot that lies northwest of the easily found constellation of Orion. It is also the thirteenth brightest star in the entire night sky, marking the location of the bull’s eye. Two other visible stars, Zeta Tauri and Beta Tauri, mark the bull’s horns.

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