Home > General Astronomy, Stargazing > Constellation of the Month: Leo the Lion

Constellation of the Month: Leo the Lion

Head outside during April just as the sky gets properly dark and sitting high in the south is the constellation of Leo the Lion.

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Leo is well-known as it’s one of the signs of the zodiac, and therefore one of the constellations through which the planets, Sun and Moon pass over the course of the year.

Leo is also well-known due to its most prominent feature, a pattern of stars within the constellation (called an asterism) known as The Sickle, which looks like a backwards question mark, with the bright star Regulus as the dot.

Regulus is known as the king star, and is one of the brightest stars in the sky, shining blue-white in late winter and spring.

Within the constellation of Leo are two groups of galaxies, marked as 1 and 2 on the chart above.

1. The Leo Triplet: M65, M66, and NGC3628
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2. The M96 Group: Including M95 & M96
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Any of these galaxies can be seen with even a small telescope, but their detailed structure can only really be seen in larger scopes.

Enjoy the spring skies, and happy galaxy hunting!

Maps and descriptions like this one for each of the 88 constellations can be found in my new book, Stargazing for Dummies. Click on the image on the right for more info.

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