Taurus Constellation: Facts & Myths

Universe is the demonstration of God’s art in which he has created plethora of miraculous objects, which are his exclusive designs, shining there, up above in the infinity. They move, collide, explode, shine, twinkle and at the end of their life, break apart into fragments. During these processes they produce radiations and energies which make them visible to us.

You often look above and wonder, what’s there at the zenith, so high in the sky, gazing down and throwing light? The celestial bodies enjoy panoramic vista of the earth, a full view which only can be obtained from a great height. Humans standing below them gaze and think, formulate theories only to be negated by the phenomenon occurring up high above your heads.

But as humans have inquisitive nature, they never leave exploring and join dots as per the collected data and based on them, formulate theories. Based on these hypotheses, here is what we know about Taurus constellation.

What is Taurus?

Taurus is a constellation (group of stars which form a recognizable pattern), located in certain part of night sky (as it’s visible at night) and related to myths in ancient civilizations of the earth. Taurus is also a zodiac symbol associated with people born in between April 20 and May 21. It is also called the bull, as the stars representing it in the sky form a bull like figure when they are joined by straight lines.

Visibility of Taurus

Taurus is a very special constellation as it can be seen in northern and southern hemispheres both, at a certain period of time or within a well- defined time range. In the northern hemisphere it is visible during winter and autumn season,  shining high above the sky, smiling down at you in a mocking way, as a bull is lying at the head of self- centered humans who consider themselves most important. In the opposite hemisphere, it is visible from the season of late summer spring to time of the year when summer is at the end. The interesting fact is, it will appear inverted due to the rotational and revolution movement of the earth.

Taurus is attributed with the position of one of the elephantine constellations in the night sky, capturing a good amount of area and full hold of eyes. According to the cave paintings, the early inhabitants called it bull and the name is being used since then.  These paintings date back to 10k years when humanity was an infant who was just born and trying to learn.

The most luminous star of Taurus constellation is Aldebaran, which is 500 times more luminous than the sun which implies that it produces more energy than the sun in its lifecycle. The popular Pleiades group of stars and the Crab nebula are situated in the circumference of the star group, in its vicinity. The mysterious meteor shower which are seen in the mid- autumn, are named as Taurus meteor shower as they seem to originate from the area in which Taurus is housed. It is an old constellation and one of the first discovered by the humans found in the star maps of 3000 years old Babylonian star catalogues of the sky.

Mythology associated with Taurus

As the rest of the constellations have mythological aspects, Taurus too has a rich mythological base and the most popular is the Greek connection. It revolves around the Greek God Zeus which is a common notion related to almost all constellations according to the Greek mythology. In this story the heroine is Europa, the famed Phoenician Princess and King Agenor’s daughter.

To escape his victims, Zeus hid himself and used to disguise himself and this story carries this traditional saga forward. In this story he converted himself into a strong bull and hid in King Agenor’s vast herd, where it would be next to impossible to find him. One day, the King’s daughter caught the sight of the bull and was enchanted and attracted by his strong built. Out of arrested conscience, she went near it and mounted his back. Zeus started toward the beach and suddenly jumped into the sea and carried the Princess to the castle of Crete. Then Zeus shed his disguise and declared Europa as his mistress. Later, he fathered three sons on her and commemorated his achievement by positioning the bull in the sky among the stars as a symbol of his power.

Major celestial objects

Taurus has a glorious background and his story is the pure symbol of male chauvinism, domination, and the savageness prevailing in the ancient times, which was a favorite trait among people. Here are some stars and objects identified in the Taurus constellation after years of research and speculation, plotting and analysis by human beings since time immemorial.

  • Aldebaran: It is an epitome of hugeness and is also named as Alpha Tauri, which is its astronomical name. It is located around sixty five light years (distance travelled by light in one year) from the earth, and holds the position of the most luminous star in the family of Taurus. It appears red in color and hence is called “the red star” and its elephantine constitution is evident from the fact that his diameter is around forty five times larger than the sun.
  • Elnath: It is the next in the series and is called Beta Tauri, coming after Alpha Tauri. It is found on the extreme point where the circumference of Taurus ends and Auriga’s area starts and from his situation gets the name, Gamma Aurigae. It is of blue color and elephantine constitution and holds the adjective of “Blue giant”. It is situated at approximately 130 light years away from our mother planet, again a big figure.

Delve into the depth of night sky and discover the gems called stars, saying hello from the ceiling and waving with twinkling eyes. The more you read, the more you know, and the more you are exposed to stars, your level of happiness increases automatically as they emit positive energy. Explore constellations and satiate your curiosity!