Taurus is one of the few constellations that has kept the same name since the beginnings of civilization and across cultures. Constellation names, like the names of stars, come from a variety of sources and each has a different meaning. • Last updated: October 6, 2020, “Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, Ursa Minor is better known as the Little Dipper. The story behind the name: The constellations that are included in the Zodiac - the 12 constellations recognized by Babylonian astronomers through which our Sun, moon, and planets appeared to travel during the course of a year - are considered to be among the oldest sky patterns recognized by human civilizations. That will be the easiest star to locate, but is sometimes confused with Mars because of its red-orange coloring. Something like Google Sky can also help you to practice identifying the shapes of the constellations. Location: Taurus lies in the first quadrant of the Northern Hemisphere and can be seen between latitudes +90° and -65°. Though many people start their days by checking their horoscope in the newspaper, the 12 constellations of the zodiac are no more important to astronomers than the other 76 constellations. By belonging to the zodiac this constellation is one of 12 that is crossed by the plane of the ecliptic. Keep up with everything in the sky with a subscription to our daily radio program, hosted by Billy Henry. As previously discussed, Taurus is one of the twelve constellations of the zodiac. Orion once boasted that he could kill all the animals on the earth. Another tale says that Orpheus was murdered and then placed into the sky as a swan next to his lyre (the constellation Lyra, also in the drawing above). Best viewed in: June. Europa became the object of Zeus' affections, and he appeared to her as a beautiful, white bull at the Phoenician waterside. When Castor was killed, the immortal Pollux begged Zeus to give Castor immortality, which he did by placing the brothers in the night sky for all time. To this day, Leo Major is solely regarded as “Leo.”. The two fish of the sky represent Aphrodite and her son Eros, who turned themselves into fish and tied themselves together with rope in order to escape Typhon, the largest and most vile monster in all of Greek mythology. A cave painting in Lascaux, France from the year 15,000 BC already has it represented as a bull. Taurus (Latin for "the Bull") is one of the constellations of the zodiac and is located in the Northern celestial hemisphere.Taurus is a large and prominent constellation in the northern hemisphere's winter sky. Myth based on the original Greek legend. Often, Zeus is not very nice! The illustrations are based on what’s viewable from Great Britain, making them fairly similar to what you’d see in the States. The nemesis of 12 constellations. If you become familiar with this constellation, you can find it as a starting point and look for the Pleiades … The other notable stars in this constellation or the Crab Nebula, the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters. Other distinctive features are the 3-5 stars that form the head and the constellation’s winding tail, forming an inverted “?”. It has great significance in the mythologies of multiple cultures around the world. It is a well-known constellation in the zodiac. Orion, the hunter, bears a Greek name, but had been seen as a hunter-hero figure since the times of ancient Babylon. Ancient humans got creative with the star patterns they observed. They also created some wonderful, mythical stories to go along with these heavenly pictures. For more skywatching tips, astronomy news, and much more, read StarDate magazine. Orion is also unique in that you can use him to find a variety of other constellations in the winter sky. In the Northern Hemisphere, the bull passes through the sky from November to March, but the constellation's at its most visible in January. It was said he regularly hunted with Artemis (Goddess of the Hunt) on the island of Crete, and that he was killed either by her bow, or by the sting of the great scorpion who later became the constellation Scorpius. You can support StarDate radio by sponsoring our program for a day. Ancient humans got creative with the star patterns they observed. Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu end up fighting the bull of heaven in the epic in order to protect the people of Uruk from … It is visible at latitudes between 90 degrees and -65 degrees. While there are many tellings and re-tellings about how the stars in the sky came to be, myths about the zodiac constellations always have the most interesting alternate stories attached to them. Other than a star map, all you need is a dark sky (as far away from cities as possible), and for extra visual aide, a pair of binoculars or a telescope. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The Taurus constellation gets its name from an easy to see V shape, symbolizing a bull’s head in the sky. Musca Borealis, the bee, is a discarded constellation. The lion could not be killed by mortal weapons, as its fur was impervious to attack, and its claws sharper than any human sword. Most constellation names are Latin in origin, dating from the Roman empire, but their meanings often originated in the distant past of human civilization. If you want to find someone to "bully" in marriage or work, you may wish to look for among 12 constellations. It should be noted that many of the constellations listed also have Babylonian, Egyptian, Roman mythologies, and more. Orion and Taurus (constellations), and the Pleiades (an asterism). 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