Constellations of Leo
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Leo
Roll mouse over picture to see constellation figures and outlines
Image and text ©2008 Akira Fujii/David Malin Images.

In the picture above, north is at the top and the image covers 43.1 x 34.5 degrees.
Image centre is located at 10:41:19.2, +18:10:56 (H:M:S, D:M:S, J2000) Astrometric data from Astrometry.net.

Leo
Best seen in the early evening in April

Leo (the Lion) is the creature with the impenetrable skin, reputedly slain by Hercules as the first of his 12 labours, and is one of the few constellations to look anything like the object it is supposed to represent, in this case a crouching Lion. The constellation is of great antiquity, and Pliny wrote that the ancient Egyptians worshiped these stars, and that the lion also represented in the Sphinx.

The constellation is situated between Virgo and Cancer and is the 12th largest, measuring 947 degrees. It contains many bright and interesting stars and numerous galaxies, five bright enough to be catalogued by Messier. The ecliptic (the apparent path of the Sun) passes through the constellation and the Sun is there from mid-August to mid-September. Naturally therefore, Leo is best placed for night time observation at the opposite end of the year, during the early evening in April. The celestial equator runs through the southern part of Leo and is not shown here, however, its path is very close to the lower boundary of the image above.

Main named stars in Leo: (Greek alphabet)
Adhafera (ζLeo), Denebola (β Leo), Algieba (γ1 Leo), Al Minliar al Asad (κ Leo), Alterf (λ Leo), Chort (Chertan, θ Leo), Ras Elased Australis (Algenubi, ε Leo), Ras Elased Borealis (Raslas, μ Leo), Regulus (α Leo), Shir (ρ Leo), Subra (ο Leo), Zosma (δ Leo).

Constellations adjoining Leo:
Cancer, Coma Berenices, Crater, Hydra, Leo Minor, Sextans, Ursa Major, Virgo

Related images (other sources)
AAT 51.   The Leo 1 dwarf galaxy
AAT 61.   NGC 3623, M65, a spiral galaxy in Leo
AAT 62.   NGC 3627, M66 a spiral galaxy in Leo
AAT 63.   NGC 3628, an edge-on galaxy in the Leo Group
AAT 80.   NGC 2818A, planetary nebula in cluster
AAT 62.   NGC 3627, M66 a spiral galaxy in Leo
AAT 97.   M95, NGC 3351, barred spiral galaxy in Leo
AAT 103. The M66 group of galaxies in Leo

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David Malin, 2009 October 15