Tuesday 19 September 2017 - 20:48:06 Posted by  Bobby

 Mythology of Leo

Leo is a large and impressive constellation that depicts a crouching lion. In Greek myth, this was the lion that hercules killed as one of his 12 labors. Leo is a constellation of the Zodiac, lying between Cancer and Virgo. The Sun passes through it from August 10th to September 16th.

 The Facts

  • Depiction: The Lion
  • Pronounced: LEE-oh
  • Genitive: Leonis
  • Abbreviation: Leo
  • Highest in the Sky: March to April
  • Size Ranking: 12th
  • Coverage Area: 947 Sq. Degrees
  • Right Acension: 11 hours
  • Declination: 15°
  • Visibility: 90°N to 59°S

 Notable Objects

  • Gamma Leonis: Binary star system
  • Trio in Leo: Triple spiral galaxies
  • M95: Barred spiral galaxy
  • M96: Spiral Galaxy
  • M105: Elliptical galaxy
  • NGC 2903: Barred spiral galaxy
  • NGC 3384: Elliptical galaxy
  • NGC 3432: Spiral galaxy

 Named Stars

  • Regulus, Alpha Leonis
  • Denebola, Beta Leonis
  • Algieba, Gamma Leonis
  • Zosma, Delta Leonis
  • Ras Elased Australis, Epsilon Leonis
  • Adhafera, Zeta Leonis
  • Chertan, Theta Leonis
  • Alterf, Lambda Leonis
  • Ros Elased Borealis, Mu Leonis
  • Subra, Omicron Leonis

 Best Viewed Objects/Stars

The Sickle

 An easy reconizable pattern of six stars, shaped like a reverse question mark or a hook, which forms the head and chest of the lion. It consists of the stars Epsilon, Mu, Zeta, Gamma, Eta, and Alpha Leonis.

Alpha Leonis (Regulus)

 The faintest of the first-magnitude stars, magnitude 1.4. It is a blue-white star about 77 light years away. Binoculars or a small telescope show that it is a wide companion of 8th magnitude.

Gamma Leonis

 A glorious double star consisting of two golden orange giants of magnitudes 2.4 and 3.6, which make an excellent sight through a small telescope. They are a genuine binary pair, orbiting each other every 500 years or so. Binoculars (or even sharp eyesight, show a much wider 5th-magnitude star, 40 Leonis, which is unrelated.

Zeta Leonis

 A wide triple formed by unrelated stars. Zeta itself is of magnitude 3.4. Binoculars show a 6th-magnitude star, 35 Leonis, to its north. Farther south is 39 Leonis, also of 6th magnitude.

R Leonis

 A red-giant Mira variable ranging in brightness between about 4th and 11th magnitudes every 10 months or so.

M65 & M66

 Two 9th-magnitude spiral galaxies visible with a small telescope. Being tilted at an angle to us, they appear elliptical.

M95 & M96

 A pair of spiral galaxies visible through a small telescope as elongated smudges. They lie at similar distances to M65 and M66, namely 30-35 million light-years.


 Where to?

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Up Next- Leo Minor 



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