Slow and steady

Moving slowly through the UK countryside

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

14 Comments

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.

Stars

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).

Stars

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

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.

Pleiades

The Pleiades star cluster, much zoomed in

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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!

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  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.

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