Taurus, the Bull, is a prominent winter constellation. The bull is often shown in a celestial battle with Orion, the Hunter.
The bright orange star Aldebaran is the eye of the bull. Notice that Aldebaran appears to be part of the v-shaped Hyades star cluster, the head of the bull. This cluster it just 150 light years so it is easy to see. Surprisingly, Aldebaran is only 65 light years away so we know it is not actually part of the cluster.
Perhaps the night sky's most loved star cluster is the Pleiades. The Pleiades is 444 light years away and that's why it appears smaller and tighter than the Hyades. It is a fantastic target for binoculars. In Japan, the Pleiades is known as Subaru.
From the point of the 'v' of the Hyades, go to Aldebaran and continue until you get to Zeta Tau. With optical aid at a dark site, find the Crab Nebula, the remains of a star that exploded in a supernova. About 1,000 years ago, people watched the explosion. It was bright enough to be seen during the day.
Viewing Taurus, the Bull
Mid-November to early March
Find Taurus above Orion, west of Gemini or south of Perseus. For more help use the 'Constellations of Winter' link below.
Use the map above to find the main stars of Taurus. Try drawing the constellation with stars, lines and labels.
With binoculars many more stars will be visible. The Pleiades cluster is brilliant. The Hyades is dazzling. The Crab Nebula will be challenging. See the links below. Take time to explore.
The Pleiades cluster is awesome. Use low power. The Crab Nebula may reveal structure depending on the size of the telescope. See the links below.