Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Taurus (♉) is one of the constellations of the zodiac, and its name is Latin for Bull. It sits large and prominent in the winter sky, between Aries to the west and Gemini to the east; to the north lie Perseus and Auriga, to the southwest Orion, and to the southeast Eridanus and Cetus.
One of the few first magnitude stars in the sky, the bright red Aldebaran, sits in the middle of this constellation. The horns of the bull stretch off to the west, marked by Elnath (Beta Tauri, traditionally shared with Auriga) and Zeta Tauri.
Notable deep sky objects
Another object, visible in a telescope, is the Crab Nebula (M1), a supernova remnant northeast of Zeta. The explosion, seen on Earth on July 4, 1054, was bright enough to be seen by day. It is mentioned in Chinese history texts and Native American pottery.
In Greek mythology, this corresponds with the bull-form Zeus took in order to win Europa, a mythical Phoenician princess, and thus the father of the Minotaur. As such, since it is necessary to traverse the area of sky known as the Sea to reach it when passing through the Zodiac, it forms the origin of the myth of the Cretan Bull, one of The Twelve Labours of Herakles.
The astrological sign Taurus (April 20 - May 20) is associated with the constellation. In some cosmologies, Taurus is associated with the classical element Earth, and thus called an Earth Sign (with Virgo and Capricorn). It is one of the four Fixed signs (along with Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius). Its polar opposite is Scorpio. Its ruling planet is Venus. Each astrological sign is assigned a part of the body, viewed as the seat of its power. Taurus rules the neck and shoulders. The Taurean symbol is the bull. Taurean qualities include an earthy, practical nature, a love of luxury and a devotee of sensuality, strong opinions, and a profound stubbornness. They are also fairly emotional and sentimental signs. The sex drive of those born under the sign of Taurus is legendary, and they, along with Scorpio, are the most sexual signs in the entire zodiac. Negatively, Taureans can be very selfish, greedy, and obstinate.
Some famous Taureans: William Shakespeare (probably), Immanuel Kant, Robespierre, Robert Browning, Karl Marx, Ulysses S. Grant, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Johannes Brahms, Sigmund Freud, Max Weber, Vladimir Lenin, Bertrand Russell, Adolf Hitler, Irving Berlin, Joan Miró, Rudolph Valentino, Edmund Wilson, Frank Capra, Bing Crosby, Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart (actor), Ella Fitzgerald, Pope John Paul II, Queen Elizabeth II, Audrey Hepburn, James Brown (musician), Roy Orbison, Thomas Pynchon, Stevie Wonder, and Linda Evangelista.
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