Winter Objects Master Objects List  |  Search  |  TOC Back  |  Up  |  Next
Exposure Data
  • Image Field of View: 63° x 44°
  • Camera Field of View: 63.55° x 44.97°
  • Lens: Canon 18-55 mm f/3.5-6.5 EF-S Zoom
  • Focal Length: 18 mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/4
  • Camera: Canon T2i (550D)
  • ISO: 400
  • Exposure: 50 minutes total
    • 6 x 300 seconds
    • 2 x 600 seconds
  • Filter: None
  • SQM: 20.81

Taurus, the Bull, is an ancient zodiacal constellation located on the ecliptic between Gemini and Aries.

Hold your mouse cursor over the image to see constellation figures, boundaries, and star identifications.

Some scholars believe that Taurus and the Pleiades are represented in the Hall of the Bulls in the caves at Lascaux in France where cave paintings may be dated as long ago as 15,000 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era).

The constellation of Taurus is the current location of the June solstice. This is the point in the sky where the Sun is farthest north from the celestial equator, usually occurring around June 21. On this day, the Sun is highest in the sky at local solar noon for the northern hemisphere of Earth marking their first day of summer, and lowest in the sky for the southern hemisphere marking their first day of winter. This is also the longest day of the year for the northern hemisphere and shortest day of the year for the southern hemisphere. On this day, the Sun rises farthest north of due east, and sets farthest north of due west. For observers north of 66.56° north latitude in the northern hemisphere, the Sun stays above the horizon 24 hours a day in the northern summer. For observers south of 66.56° south latitude in the southern hemisphere, the Sun never rises above the horizon all day during the southern winter.

The Sun is located in the constellation of Taurus from May 14 to June 21.

Alpha Tauri is Aldebaran, a brilliant star that shines at magnitude 0.87. It is a spectral-class K red giant that represents the eye of the bull. Aldebaran is located 65 light-years away from Earth. Aldebaran means the "follower" in Arabic, probably because it appears to follow the Pleiades as they move across the sky at night due to the Earth's rotation.

Two of the nearest star clusters to the Earth are located in Taurus. They are the incredibly beautiful and bright open clusters - M45, the Pleiades, and Mel 25, the Hyades.

Taurus is also home to other deep-sky treats as well such as M1, the Crab Nebula, and the very large, but extremely faint supernova remnant Simeis 147.

Taurus was cataloged by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century C.E. (Common Era). It is the 17th largest of today's 88 modern constellations, covering 797 square degrees of sky.

North is to the upper right in the above image.

  • Object Type: Constellation
  • Size: 47° x 34°
  • Image Field Centered At:
    • RA: 04h 40m 02s
    • Dec: +25° 19' 17"

Winter Objects Master Objects List  |  Search  |  TOC Back  |  Up  |  Next