Constellations in the sky – the constellation of Pegasus, Cassiopeia, Capricorn, Perseus, Andromeda and Walvis
According to mythology, the constellation Taurus symbolizes the most important of all gods, namely Zeus. He became a bull to kidnap the princess Europa. In this myth there is a reference to a white bull with golden horns that approached Europe while on the beach. Enchanted by a beautiful creature she rode his back. On this bull the princess sailed to Crete, where Zeus revealed who he is, and thus seduced Europe. The fruit of a passionate romance was Minos, later king of Crete. Another legend tells of the great bull that devastated Crete, and in its nose burned the fire with which the animal set fields and orchards on fire. The mad and furious animal killed Theseus – the same hero who defeated the Minotaur in the Cretan Labyrinth.
Stars in the constellation of Taurus
If we look at the sky, we can easily recognize this constellation – it is a small group of stars resembling a miniature car. This is the most beautiful open cluster in the sky, named the Pleiades. Messier marked it in his catalog as object M 45. It is perfectly visible to the naked eye. The seven brightest cluster stars are named after mythical daughters of Atlas: Alkyone, Electra, Kelajno, Maja, Merope, Asterope i Taygetus.
As a curiosity it is worth mentioning that the car brand Subaru has chosen the pleiade as a logo.
The second open group is formed by sister-Pleiades (Hyades). The brightest star in the constellation of Taurus, the red Aldebaran, shines against this one. It is a double system consisting of a red giant, whose size exceeds a multiple of the size of the sun, and a dwarf, whose mass is only a fraction of the mass of the central star of our planetary system.
Against the background of Taurus we find the M1 Crab Nebula at the end of the Taurus Horns. It looks extremely spectacular, even though it is a relatively young nebula. Inside the crab is a rotating neutron star, the remnant of the original star. Chinese astronomers observed the formation of the nebula in 1054. It was visible during the day for about two years.
In the area of the constellation Taurus there is also a swarm of meteors known as Taurids.
Constellation Great Dog (Canis Major)
The big dog keeps pace during the night hunt Orion. Sirius is the brightest of the stars, both of the constellation and of the whole visible sky. It is about 10 light years away from Earth. The young star is twice the size of our sun. Sirius B. orbits them, in ancient Egypt Sirius was called Sotis. The Egyptians considered the star as a saint. The first east meant the time of the Nile floods – of considerable importance for the entire community that inhabited the river delta. In the background of the constellation is the open cluster M41, discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna.
Constellation of the Little Dog (Canis Minor)
This is the second dog that keeps pace with Orion, which travels through our sky every year. The small dog was the symbol of the god Anubis, the man with the jackal head. The god has taken care of the deceased who go to the afterlife. The brightest star in the constellation is Procjon. Together with Sirius and Betelgeze, they form a triangle visible in the winter sky. At a time when the GPS system had not yet been invented, it showed the way to the wanderers in the night sky.
Constellation Leo (Leo)
The first mention of the constellation comes from Babylon. The lion also often appears in mythology. The animal had a thick skin that protected it from spears and arrows. Heracles strangled a lion, and from his skin he put on armor that protected him from enemy weapons in battle. The constellation is the brightest star of the constellation. This name was suggested by Copernicus himself. It’s five times bigger than our sun, while it’s 80 light years from the ground (quadruple system).
Denebola or the tail of the lion is twice the size of our sun and 40 light years from earth. The constellations also include the following galaxies: M65, M66, NGC 3628. These are spiral galaxies. In the Leo constellation there is a huge group of quasars (ca. 73). It is the largest known structure with a size of about four billion light years.
Constellation Virgo (Virgo)
The Greeks gave this constellation the name of the virgin in honor of the goddess Demeter. It was a symbol of fertility and fecundity. The girl holds cereal in her hand. At the tip of the ear is the brightest constellation star. Spika, a star 260 light years away from the Earth, is ten times more beautiful than our Sun. It is also the brightest star in our sky. In the constellation we also find a very large number of fascinating galaxies, including: M 49, M 58, M 53, M 59, M 64, M 85, M 88, M 91 and M 98.
You can create and personalize starry sky posters with your favorite constellation. If you are a star and a moon lover, check out our moon poster!