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Science

Leo The Lion

Leo the Lion constellation
Sky Portal
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Leo the Lion is one of the most recognized constellations in the Sky. It is now rising in the East in the early evening and marks a transition between the winter and spring seasons. The shape of the constellation Leo forms a pattern that resembles a Lion. Leo also contains an easy to see asterism that looks like a hook or a backward question mark.

The Leonid meteor shower emanates from this constellation each November on about the 17th of the month. Most of the time there are only about 12 meteors seen per hour, but in the years 1933 and 1966 a meteor storm appeared with thousands of meteors per hour.

The brightest star in Leo is named Regulus which is the 21st brightest star in the sky. Regulus is 240 times the luminosity of our sun. Its distance from Earth is 78 light years. Regulus has a high rotation rate, spinning on its axis in only 16 hours. This rapid spin rate causes it to have an oblate shape somewhat like an egg.

Some impressive galaxies reside in the boundary of Leo. Two of them Messier 65 and 66 are two spirals galaxies that can be seen in the same low power field of view in an medium size amateur telescope. They are at an astounding distance of 37 and 42 million light years respectively.

Our website is CVAS-utahskies.org

For Cache Valley Astronomical Society this is Blaine Dickey wishing you clear skies.