Tau - Taurus the Bull

  • Tau - Taurus the Bull

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    17 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Taurus the Bull is easily spotted. Its head is the Hyades, a V-shaped cluster of stars. His horns point outward from the V. Aldebaran is the red eye of the Bull as he charges down upon us.

    Taurus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.
    Biblical references: The Pleiades are mentioned in Job 9:7-9 and Job 38:31-33, and Amos 5:8. Other constellations alluded to in the Bible are Ursa Major and Orion.

    Skylore and Literature

  • Ari - Aries the Ram

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    39 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    A small zodiac constellation with only two easily visible stars.

     

    Skylore and Literature:  A ram with Golden Fleece, which could fly through the air.

    Aries is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

  • Aur - Auriga the Charioteer

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    21 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Lies in the Milky Way, with many binocular and telescopic objects, between Gemini, Perseus and Taurus, at the top of the Winter Hexagon. Auriga looks like a pentagon, if one includes Alnath, which is also the tip of one of Taurus the Bull’s horns (Alnath was once Gamma-Aurigae, but is now officially Beta-Tauri).

  • Cet - Cetus the Sea Monster or Whale

    Size

    4 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    South of Aries and Pisces, one of the largest constellations. Trace to the second-magnitude star Beta-Ceti (Diphda, near the flukes) by following a line southward from Alpheratz (the corner of Pegasus and Andromeda) through gamma-Pegasi, across Pisces and Cetus.

    Cetus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

    Skylore and Literature:  Killed by Perseus as he was attempting to devour Andromeda. Movies: Clash of the Titans; Internet movie database.

     

    Special Stars

  • Eri - Eridanus the River

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    6 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    The River Eridanus flows northward (like the Nile) from the bright star Achernar (Arabic for "End of the River") to Kursa (beta-Eridani) near Rigel in Orion. Eridanus is the longest (not largest) constellation, spanning over 50 degrees of declination, and its many faint stars glitter like reflecting light off the surface of its waves.

    The Nile to the Egyptians, the Po to Italians, and the Yellow River to the Chinese.
    The ancient astronomer Hipparchos (ca. 150 B.C.) called Eridanus the "River of Orion."

  • Gem - Gemini the Twins

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    30 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Look for the two bright stars, Castor and Pollux, which form one vertex of the Winter Hexagon. Castor is closer to Capella, in Auriga on the north; and Pollus is closer to Procyon, in Canis Minor on the south. Cancer and Leo lie to the east.

    Gemini is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

  • Ori - Orion the Hunter

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    26 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Three stars in a row make up Orion’s belt, within a rectangle of four bright stars representing his shoulders and feet.
    At sunset in the autumn, Orion’s belt appears to rise straight up on the horizon.

    Orion is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

    The sword hanging from his belt includes M42, the beautiful Orion nebula.

  • Per - Perseus the Hero

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    24 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Resembles a backward lambda. Located in the Milky Way, between Andromeda/Cassiopeia and Auriga/Taurus. Perseus contains no first-magnitude star, but a pair of beautiful binocular star clusters, known as the Double Cluster. Look for the Perseid meteor shower on August 12.

    Usually depicted carrying the detached head of the demon-woman Medusa, or Gorgon, who grew snakes for hair. Perseus married Andromeda after saving her from Cetus with the aid of Pegasus (see Andromeda).