Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside

Starry, starry night – how to find Taurus the Bull and his friends


Prompted by Red Hen’s post about Orion in the night sky, I went out to gaze at the stars this evening.  It was very clear so the camera and the tripod came out, and I ended up with very cold fingers and a stiff neck – but it was enjoyable all the same.  If you know how to find Orion and the Pleiades, this will show you how to find Taurus the Bull – which fits into the Daily Prompt category of teaching someone something.

This was looking towards the south at about 7:30 pm.  These are not totally black pictures – honest.  They are best viewed full-size by clicking on them, and letting your eyes adjust – there are stars there.  See next picture for key to constellations.


Southern night sky – can you find Orion and the Pleiades?

This one shows where Taurus the bull is, in between Orion and the Pleiades.  I didn’t realise I’d also got Auriga, the Charioteer in there too, one I’ve not tracked down before.

Auriga Taurus Orion Pleiades with lines

Auriga – red lines; Taurus – green lines; Pleiades – inside yellow circle; Orion (top) – blue lines

This was looking closer to south-east.  I don’t remember noticing Orion’s bow before (the stars are quite faint – not sure I can see them without the camera).


Night sky towards south/south-east 7:30 pm central England

Night sky

Jupiter – brightest object on left; Gemini (part – the brightest two are not in this shot) – pink lines; Orion – blue lines, Taurus – green lines (easiest bit to see is the right-hand end >; the Pleiades group is just out of the shot above Taurus

This is a zoomed in shot of Jupiter.  By fiddling about with timings and light settings, I managed to get three of its moons visible too.


Jupiter and three moons

This is a zoomed in, 13-second exposure of the Pleiades cluster. It was quite tricky to zoom in on something that wasn’t visible on the camera screen – many totally black pictures had to be discarded.  All in all, much better than watching TV, as far as I’m concerned.  Opinions may differ.  I love the idea that the constellation names and stories go back about 2000 years.


The Pleiades star cluster, much zoomed in


Author: Hedwigia

Gardener, wildlife geek, and very slow runner.

14 thoughts on “Starry, starry night – how to find Taurus the Bull and his friends

  1. Oh, thank you for this! I`m fascinated by constellations too. And for the exact same reasons. It amazes me that the Greeks picked out all those creatures from the night sky and that they some how became embedded in so many cultures and countries. Even though, they don’t really exist at all!
    And then, there`s the fact that, to the human eye ,the constellations don`t appear to change and that they are visible to everyone on earth.
    Brilliant pics. I don`t know enough about photography to do this but I`m putting it on my wishlist right now The photographic element makes stargazing all the more exciting. Well done!

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Teach Your (Bloggers) Well | The Wandering Poet

  3. Pingback: How to make a felt rose | A mom's blog

  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Teach Your (Bloggers) Well | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  5. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Teaching | Nola Roots, Texas Heart

  6. Pingback: Of a how-to… | Concentrate On Yourself

  7. Pingback: Eulogy Heard By Nobody | The Jittery Goat

  8. Pingback: How I paint – Teach Your (Bloggers) Well | Caring and Creating

  9. Astonishing good job with Jupiter! Wow.

    Orion and the Pleiades are mentioned in Job, too, I think, which go back ever further, right? Anyway, a LONG time, I agree. True antiques! 😉

  10. Thank you – I enjoyed looking at your blank photos and checking with your annotated ones that I could really see the constellations. I shall have to go and look myself. And the photo of Jupiter’s moons is amazing!

    • It’s still really easy to spot Jupiter. Do you have good dark skies in Korea, or is there as much light pollution as in the UK?

      I noticed an advert for holidays in Northumberland yesterday, where the ‘dark sky park’ status was used to promote it. Even in rural Warwickshire, we have the glow from the motorway – and the village street lights.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s