Taurus Constellation Myths and Facts

Taurus: The Bull

Pronunciation: TOR-us
Taurus, The Bull
Taurus as depicted by Johann Bayer in his Uranometria (1603). Source image provided by www.RareMaps.com — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.
Taurus Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Tau Genitive: Tauri
Origin: Ancient Location: Celestial Equator
Best View (North): Winter Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Auriga, Perseus, Aries, Cetus, Eridanus, Orion, Gemini

The Myth Behind the Constellation Taurus

Taurus, “The Bull” represents Zeus in the form he took when he abducted Europa, daughter of the king of Phoenicia. While playing on the beach, Europa sighted a magnificent white bull with golden horns grazing peacefully with her father’s herd.  She was entranced by its beauty and gentle demeanor.  The bull knelt before her, and when she climbed up on its back, it went into the sea and swam her to Crete, where Zeus finally shed his bestial disguise. He seduced her and one of their offspring was Minos, king of Crete.

Taurus Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting Objects in the Constellation Taurus
Name Messier NGC Type Visibility
Crab Nebula M1 NGC 1952 Supernova Remnant Binoculars
Pleiades M45 Open Star Cluster Naked-Eye

Bright Stars in Taurus

These are the stars in Taurus with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.
Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Aldebaran Alpha Tauri 0.87  Orange 1081 suns 65 ly
El Nath Beta Tauri 1.65  Blue 669 suns 131 ly
Alcyone Eta Tauri 2.85  Blue 1,243 suns 368 ly
Tien Kwan Zeta Tauri 2.97  Blue 2,307 suns 418 ly