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Taurus? Here’s your constellation

How to find to find the constellation Taurus in your night sky. Plus the names of some of its bright stars and star clusters and its mythology.

Moon in Taurus February 22 and 23

Tonight and tomorrow night, let the moon show you the constellation Taurus the Bull on the great dome of sky. How to recognize the Bull’s 2 most prominent features, here.

Arc to Arcturus, the springtime star

Before going to bed tonight, locate the Big Dipper in your northern sky, and then follow the arc in the Dipper’s handle to find yellow-orange star Arcturus.

Hare and Dove at Orion’s feet

Lepus the Hare and Columba the Dove are 2 faint constellations near the easy-to-find constellation Orion. You need a dark sky to see them.

Blue-white Rigel at Orion’s foot

Rigel is far, some 775 light-years away. It must be extraordinarily luminous to be so distant yet shine so brightly in our sky.

See the Double Cluster in Perseus

First, find the M- or W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia. The Double Cluster – 2 open star clusters – is nearby and beautiful in a dark sky.

Big Dipper stars point to North Star

The two outermost stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper always point to the North Star, aka Polaris. That’s why astronomers call these stars The Pointers.

Groundhog Day has roots in astronomy

Groundhog Day is tied to the movement of Earth around the sun. It’s the year’s 1st cross-quarter day.

Zodiacal light glowing pyramid after dark

From the Northern Hemisphere, look for the elusive zodiacal light, a hazy pyramid of light extending up from the sunset point. Southern Hemisphere? Look before dawn!

Moon near Castor and Pollux January 29

Castor and Pollux – brightest stars in the constellation Gemini the Twins – are noticeable for being bright and close together on the sky’s dome.

Identify stars in the Winter Circle

Go outside, and look for the waxing gibbous moon tonight. Then notice the stars nearby. Tonight’s moon is within the Winter Circle stars.

Hyades star cluster: Face of Taurus

The bright star Aldebaran is part of a V-shaped pattern of stars called the Hyades. This easy-to-find star cluster represents the face of Taurus the Bull.

Moon near Aldebaran January 26 and 27

Will you see Aldebaran in the moon’s glare on January 26 or 27, 2018? Plus … the story of Aldebaran when it was part of a double pole star.

How to locate planet Uranus

Tonight’s waxing crescent moon shines close to Uranus. Learn how to locate the planet, using tonight’s moon location and these links to charts and other info.

Star-hop: Pegasus to Andromeda galaxy

The 4 stars of the Great Square of Pegasus are easy to find. Ready? Let’s star-hop!

Sirius, future South Pole Star

The sky’s brightest star, Sirius aka the Dog Star, will come to within 1.6 degrees of the south celestial pole in the year 66270.

Contemplate the apex of the sun’s way

Our sun moves around the center of the galaxy, toward the star Vega. Astronomers call this motion the apex of the sun’s way. One circuit – about 230 million years – is called a cosmic year.

Achernar marks the end of the River

The bright, southerly star Achernar marks the end of the River in the constellation Eridanus. Many at northerly latitudes make a game of trying to catch a glimpse of it.

A winding river of stars called Eridanus

Why search for such a faint constellation? Only because it’s very beautiful. Plus seeing Eridanus can give you a kinship with stargazers from centuries ago.

New Year’s Eve, in the Julian calendar

Happy Julian New Year! January 13, 2018 marks the last day of the year in the old-style Julian calendar. Why, and what happened when the calendars switched.