• Tau - Taurus the Bull

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    17 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

    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.

  • Aur - Auriga the Charioteer

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    21 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Auriga 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).

  • Eri - Eridanus the River

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    6 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

    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.

  • Gem - Gemini the Twins

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    30 of 88

    Astronomical 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.

    The Geminids meteor shower occurs around October 19.

  • Ori - Orion the Hunter

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    26 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

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

    Since Orion’s belt of three bright stars lies upon the celestial equator, Orion is visible from every inhabited part of the globe.

  • Per - Perseus the Hero

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    24 of 88

    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Resembles a backward lambda. Located in the Milky Way, between Andromeda/Cassiopeia and Auriga/Taurus.

    Look for the Perseid meteor shower on August 12.

  • M45 - Pleiades

    Object image

    Permission

    Like bright jewels on the back of Taurus sit the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, a tiny cluster of brilliant bluish stars. Most people can see 6 stars, but in antiquity 7 were visible. With binoculars or a telescope you can see many more.

    Tennyson wrote:

    Many a night I saw the Pleiades
    rising thro’ the mellow shade,
    Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies
    tangled in a silver braid.

    In Middle Earth, the Pleiades were known as Remmirath (the Netted Stars). (Rachel Folmar)