El Nath is from Al Nāṭiḥ, the Butting One, because located on the tip of the northern horn, 5° from ζ, similarly placed on the southern. This title also appears for Aries and its star Hamal.
Bayer said that many included it and ζ in the Hyades group, but this seems improbable, although Pherecydes had it thus.
β Tauri is identical with γ Aurigae, and has been considered as belonging to either constellation; Burritt's Atlas calling it Aurigae or El Nath. As a member of Auriga it lies on the left ankle, and was the Arabians' Ḳabḍ al ʽInān, usually translated the Heel of the Rein-holder.
Smyth, who is often humorous amid his exact science, referring to the position of this star at the greatest possible distance from the hoof, says: "Can this have given rise to the otherwise pointless sarcasm of 'not knowing B from a bull's foot'?"
With Capella and other stars in Auriga it was the Chinese Woo Chay, a Fire-carriage.
In Babylonia it was Shur-narkabti-sha-iltanu, the Star in the Bull towards the North, or the Northern Star towards the Chariot, — not our Wain, but the Chariot of Auriga, — and marked the 6th ecliptic constellation. The sun stood near this star at the commencement of spring 6000 years ago.
Among the Hindus it represented Agni, the god of fire, and commonly bore that title; as also the similar Hutabhuj, the Devourer of the Sacrifice.
Astrologers said that El Nath portended eminence and fortune to all who could claim it as their natal star.
It has a Sirian spectrum, and is receding from us at the rate of about five miles a second.
Between it and ψ Aurigae was discovered on the 24th of January, 1892, the now celebrated nova Aurigae that has occasioned so much interest in the astronomical world.
Hyadum I is generally seen for this, and synonymously, Primus Hyadum, or, more correctly, as with Flamsteed, Prima Hyadum; but this was not original with him, for long before it evidently was an Arabic designation, as Al Achsasi had Awwal al Dabarān, the First of the Dabarān.
Hipparchos described it as ἐν τῷº ῥύγχει, "in the muzzle," still its location at the vertex of the triangle.
p391 With others adjacent it was Choo Wan, the Many Princes, of China.
δ, 4.2, is Hyadum II.
ε, 3.6, one of the Hyades, according to Whitall, is Ain, from the Arabic ʽAin, the Eye, near which it lies, Flamsteed calling it Oculus boreus, the Northern Eye.
Some think that it alone constituted the 2d sieu, Pi.
Close by is a small nebula, NGC 1555, one of the few known to be variable in light.
was the determinant of the 7th ecliptic constellation of Babylonia, Shurnarkabti-sha-shūtū, the Star in the Bull towards the South, or the Southern Star towards the Chariot.
reeves gave it, with others near by, as Tien Kwan, the Heavenly Gate.
In astrology ζ has been considered of mischievous influence.
It marks the tip of the southern horn and the singular Crab Nebula, a little to the northwest, the first in Messier's catalogues, and now known as NGC 1952, 1 M. Although Bevis had seen this in 1731, it was accidentally rediscovered by Messier on the 12th of September, 1758, while observing ζ and a neighboring comet, and led to his two catalogues of 103 nebulae and clusters, published from 1771 to 1782, the first attempt at a complete list of these objects. The return of Halley's comet was first observed in August, 1835, close to this star, when the nebula was a perfect mare's-nest to astronomical tyros.