© Reeth Informal Astronomy Group unless otherwise indicated

  Reeth Informal

 Astronomy Group

covering the Northern Yorkshire Dales

Leo: Constellation of the Month for April 2019

Leo (the Lion) is a prominent constellation to the South in the late evening sky in late spring/early summer. The diagram below shows the star names and magnitudes (Magnitude is a measure of star brightness where the brighter stars have lower magnitudes).  The best way to identify it is  to look for  the sickle or backwards question mark shape at the front of the lion.  The brightest star is Regulus at magnitude 1.35 and the second brightest is Algieba at 1.98. Algieba is noticeably orange and is a double star – two stars orbiting each other.  In 2009 astronomers announced that they may have discovered a planet orbiting the larger of the two suns.  For those with small/medium telescopes the area under Leo contains a number of galaxies which appear as faint smudges under good conditions.

Picture from Solarsystemquick.com