Leo Constellation: Let’s Go Deeper Into It
The Leo constellation is one of the first constellations recognised. In the ancient Near East, the Mesopotamians kept detailed records of the “lion” constellation. It was known as Ser or Shir in Persia, Artan in Turkey, Aryo in Syria, Arye in Israel, and Simha in India. “Lion” is the correct translation for all of these terms.
In fact, Leo has a much better-known name than other constellations, because it’s the only one that looks like its namesake. In March, the lion comes roaring in. The Leo constellation is easily visible from mid-spring to mid-summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Leo lies between the two constellations of Cancer and Virgo. Right ascension: 11 hours, the area within 15° of horizontal. The bright light can be seen between latitudes of 90 and minus 65 degrees. It is most enjoyable to watch in April at 9 PM.
Leo Constellation Meaning
In addition to being a constellation, it is one of the largest constellations in the sky and one of the zodiac constellations.
When it comes to Greek mythology, the lion is represented by the zodiac sign Leo, which is often associated with the Nemean lion. A representation of it is represented by the symbol ♌. A Greek astronomer named Ptolemy catalogued the constellation along with all of the other constellations of the zodiac in the 2nd century, and it was the first constellation to be catalogued.
The bright stars Regulus and Denebola, as well as the nearby star Wolf 359, are all found in the Leo star constellation, as are a number of well-known deep-sky objects, including galaxies Messier 65, Messier 66, Messier 95, Messier 96, Messier 105, and NGC 3628.
Leo constellation location and basic facts
The Leo Star constellation, which is the 12th largest in size, covers an area of 947 square degrees. While there are other constellations nearby, some of the neighbouring constellations include Cancer, Coma Berenices, Crater, Hydra, Leo Minor, Lynx, Sextans, Ursa Major, and Virgo.
Five Messier objects can be found in the Leo Star constellation:
- Messier 65 (M65, NGC 3623),
- Messier 66 (M66, NGC 3627),
- Messier 95 (M95, NGC 3351),
- Messier 96 (M96, NGC 3368),
- Messier 105 (M105, NGC 3379).
It is the only one with known planets having 11 stars.
Regulus, Alpha Leonis, is the brightest star in Leo the Lion constellation and has an apparent magnitude of 1.35. The constellation Leo is home to 13 stars that have been given individual names. An international body called the International Astronomical Union (IAU) governs official star names. They are 1. Adhafera, 2. Algieba, 3. Alterf, 4.Chertan, 5. Denebola, 6. Dingolay, 7. Formosa, 8. Moriah, 9. Rasalas, 10.Regulus, 11. Sagarmatha, 12. Subra, and 13. Zosma.
The stars of the constellation have two meteor showers associated with them. The Leonids are well known for peaking on November 17-18 each year, when they radiate with Gamma Leonis, a nearby bright star. The January Leonids is a moderate shower that is most common during the week of January 1st to 7th.
Leo Star Constellation – Myth
Two major candidates have emerged in the debate about which of the constellations Leo represents the mythical lion.
The first of Hercules’ 12 labours was killing the Nemean Lion, which was the Nemean Lion. This beast was notorious for killing those who came too close to it. The lion’s skin was stronger, tougher, and more resistant to metal, stone, and wood than other lions. Because Hercules, unable to use any weapons to harm the lion, fought it barehanded and finally throttled the Lion, it was clear to him that the pelt had unique protective qualities, so he used one of the lion’s own claws to remove it, and then he wore it as a cloak.
Pyramus and Thisbe’s story about the lion begins with the second contender. This young couple had both sets of their parents telling them they were too young to marry, and this led to the couple stopping seeing each other, but to ensure that they would have time alone, they had agreed to meet by a white mulberry tree, which had white berries. Thisbe ran away in fright as a lion emerged from the bushes and stood before her. As she ran, her veil blew away, and the lion that had just feasted on another creature pounced on it. Following the discovery of his lover’s blood-stained veil, Pyramus learned that she had been murdered. He had reached the point where life was no longer worth living and had taken his own life. Lying on his deathbed, Thisbe returned to the scene of their ill-fated romance, picked up the sword he had given her, and committed suicide. This tragic duo’s blood stains the mulberries’ berries to this day, colouring them red. This myth says that Zeus was said to have woven the veil of Coma Berenices into the heavens as a memorial to Thisbe.
Leo Star Constellation – Major Stars
1. Regulus - Alpha Leonis
Alpha Leonis Traditional name is Regulus. The brightest star in the constellation Leo, designated Alpha Leonis, is also the 22nd brightest star in the sky.
2. Denebola – Beta Leonis,
Beta Leonis’ traditional name is Denebola. In the constellation of Leo, Beta Leonis is the second brightest star and ranks 61st in the overall ranking of the nighttime sky.
3. Algieba – Gamma Leonis
Gamma leonis traditional name is Algieba or AI Gieba. It is a double star in Leo Star Constellation and its Latin name is Juba.
4. Zosma – Delta Leonis
Delta Leonis’ traditional name is Zosma. The Sun is smaller and cooler than Delta Leonis. Zosma meaning, “the girdle.” Zosma is situated on the lion’s hip.
5. Chort – Theta Leonis,
Theta Leonis’ traditional name is Chort. Theta Leonis Apparent magnitude is 3.3324 and approximate distance is 165 light-year.
6. Al Minliar – Kappa Leonis
Kappa Leonis’ traditional name is Al minliar. It is a binary star and the apparent magnitude is 4.46 and the approximate distance is 210 light-year from the sun.
7. Alterf – Lambda Leonis
Lambda Leonis’ traditional name is Alterf. It is a K-5 class star, its apparent magnitude is 4.32 and its approximate distance is 336 light-years from the solar system.
8. Subra – Omicron Leonis
Omicron Leonis’ traditional name is Subra. It is a double star in the Leo star constellation, its apparent magnitude is 3.53 and its approximate distance is 135 light-year.
9. Al Jabbah – Eta Leonis
Ets Leonis’ traditional name is Al Jabbah. Eta Leonis is a spectral class A0 Ib supergiant. This appears to be about 2,000 light-years away from Earth, with an apparent magnitude of 3.511.
10. Adhafera – Zeta Leonis
Zeta Leonis’ traditional name is Adhafera. Its apparent magnitude is 5.90 an approximate distance is 100 light-year from the earth.
11. Ras Elased Borealis – Mu Leonis
Mu Leonis’ traditional name is Ras Elased Borealis its visual magnitude is 4.1 and its approximate distance is 133 light-year from Earth.
12. Ras Elased Australis – Epsilon Leonis
Epsilon Leonis’ traditional name is Ras Elased Australis or Rasalas. Rasalas’s visual magnitude is 2.98 and its approximate distance is 247 light-years from Earth.
13. Rho Leonis
The next binary star in Leo is Rho Leonis. 3.856 magnitude and 5,000 light-years away.
The other major star of the Leo Star Constellation is Lota Leonis, Sigma Leonis, Wolf 359, Gliese 436, CW Leonis [IRC + 10216] and R Leonis.
There are quite a few bright stars and deep-sky objects in Leo, which makes it an easy constellation to find. When it’s time for harvest, look for the sickle and enjoy the amazing sights this constellation has to offer.