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Leo Constellation

Leo (Pronounciation:Lee-o, Abbrev:Leo, Latin:Leonis) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Leo takes up 946.964 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 2.3% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Lion . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

Leo is a member constellation of the Zodiac grouping, a group of 12 star signs that astrologers use to predict someones future based on their date of birth and which constellation appeared when the Sun set. The Zodiac year may be divided up equally between the twelve signs but when they appear in the night sky no longer conforms to the Zodiac calendar. Leo is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.

The brightest star in Leo is Regulus. There are 14 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Leo is CW Leonis.

Leo Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Leo is 2128. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 80. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 10.

There are 5 deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.

Stars of Interest

The nearest star to Earth is Wolf 359 which is roughly about 7.86 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HIP 57087 which is about 33.08 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 49204 which is located about 108721 Light Years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.

The dimmest star that can be seen in Leo with the naked eye is 35 Leonis. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.95. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan

The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.

Legend of the Constellation

Leo represents one of the labours of Hercules. He was ordered to do it as punishment for killing his wife. The lion was terrorising the area near Nemea. He killed the beast by strangling it or choking it to death. The skin was thickest of all known animals which meant all weapons were useless against it. Hercules managed to skin the Lion using tools provided to him by Athena.

Items of Interest

The brightest star in the constellation is Regulus, also refered to as Alpha Leonis. The star is multiple star system with four stars including the large blue star that makes up this system. It is one of a group of major stars known that is oval (egg) in shape. The others being Vega and Achernar. The fact that Regulus has orbiting stars could well explain its shape but Vega is a solo star.

Algieba is a double star system and also has a planet in orbit. This may sound a little like Tatooine in Star Wars where the desert planet has two stars. The bad news with Algieba is that the planet is a giant gas planet so there`s no chance of living on or finding intelligent alien life there. Aligeba is not the only star in the constellation to have planets in orbit, there is also Rasalas with a planet, still sadly unhospitable.

Wolf 359, Local Star

In astronomical speak, the constellation contains one of the closest stars to our own, Wolf 359. It is a small red dwarf star that is located to the bottom left of Regulus, near the border with the Sextants constellation. It lies a mere 7.86 light years away but unfortunately we don`t have the spaceships to travel that distance yet. Nearer stars include Proxima Centauri and Barnard`s Star.

Meteor Showers

There are 33 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The ones listed as the ones I've been able to find a date range for. For others if you have the time, you can visit the AMU site, obtains the SL value then use IMO tables to calculate the date. A lot of the Meteor Showers are weak and you need to do a lot of stargazing to spot them.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Alpha Leonids13-Jan - 13-Feb24/31 JanRegulus
Sigma Leonids9-Feb - 13 MarFeb 25 - 26Sigma Leonis
Delta LeonidsFeb 15 - Mar 10 Feb 25Zosma
Rho LeonidsFeb 13 - Mar 13Mar 1 - 4Rho Leonis
Beta LeonidsFeb 14 - Apr 25Mar 19/21Denebola
Gamma LeonidsAug 14-Sept 12Aug. 25/26Algieba
LeonidsNovember 13-20Nov. 17/18Adhafera

Leo Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign Yes
Largest StarCW Leonis
Brightest StarRegulus
Area946.964 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky2.3%
Size Position12th
Hemisphere Equatorial
Site Exoplanet Count14
Meteor Shower Count33
Nearest StarWolf 359
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HIP 57087
Dimmest Star35 Leonis
Furthest StarHIP 49204
Bright Star Count80
Hipparcos Star Count2128
Main Star Count10
Messier Deep Space Object Count5
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsLeo Minor
Coma Berenices
Ursa Major

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

Leo Constellation Map

Leo Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

List of Stars with Exoplanets in Leo

StarDistance (Lt. Yrs.)Exoplanet CountDeclinationRight Ascension
Algieba130.101+19d 50` 30.710h 19m 58.16
HD 100655398.731+20d 26` 29.611h 35m 03.79
HD 100777161.791-04d 45` 20.811h 35m 51.53
HD 102272795.522+14d 07` 26.311h 46m 23.54
HD 81040108.001+20d 21` 51.709h 23m 47.18
HD 88133265.611+18d 11` 15.010h 10m 07.68
HD 89307105.551+12d 37` 16.310h 18m 21.45
HD 95089453.631+01d 43` 45.610h 58m 47.76
HD 96063515.271-02d 30` 47.411h 04m 44.44
HD 9765868.871+25d 42` 37.011h 14m 33.23
HIP 5708733.083+26d 42` 30.811h 42m 10.51

List of Named Stars in Leo without Extrasolar Planets

As there's so many stars in the cosmos, not all the stars are listed here. The site has lots of stars not listed so if your star isn't listed and you know the Henry Draper or Hipparcos ID, type https://www.universeguide.com/star/ then followed by the HIPNNNNNN or HDNNNN where NNNNN is the number part of the name. The stars that I do list have either a traditional name, a bayer or other classification name.

StarDistance (Lt. Yrs.)DeclinationRight Ascension
10 Leonis245.60+06d 50` 08.809h 37m 12.71
10 Sextantis579.33+08d 55` 59.209h 56m 26.03
11 Leonis320.40+14d 20` 50.809h 38m 01.31
11 Sextantis449.88+08d 18` 50.609h 58m 07.62
13 Leonis551.88+25d 54` 46.609h 41m 38.50
15 Leonis159.88+29d 58` 29.009h 43m 33.27
18 G. Leo893.60+01d 01` 29.910h 52m 13.69
18 Leonis512.03+11d 48` 36.009h 46m 23.34
18 Leonis Minoris161.55+32d 23` 04.609h 56m 31.36
19 G. Leo896.05-00d 12` 05.710h 52m 36.10
19 Leonis276.18+11d 34` 05.409h 47m 25.99
20 G. Leo258.65-02d 15` 18.010h 53m 25.04
20 Leonis624.83+21d 10` 46.009h 49m 50.12
22 Leonis135.23+24d 23` 44.909h 51m 53.02
23 Leonis1203.55+13d 03` 58.509h 51m 01.97
3 Leonis405.17+08d 11` 18.109h 28m 29.19
30 G. Leo182.42-00d 45` 07.411h 03m 14.55
31 Leonis295.44+09d 59` 51.610h 07m 54.32
34 Leonis210.70+13d 21` 18.710h 11m 38.19
35 Leonis101.67+23d 30` 10.810h 16m 32.42
36 G. Leo197.56+08d 03` 39.411h 14m 01.81
37 Leonis585.57+13d 43` 42.110h 16m 40.75
37 Sextantis324.86+06d 22` 23.810h 46m 05.68
39 Leonis74.38+23d 06` 23.210h 17m 14.80
40 Leonis69.69+19d 28` 17.2 10h 19m 44.31
42 Leonis465.28+14d 58` 32.910h 21m 50.32
43 Leonis231.98+06d 32` 34.410h 23m 00.46
44 Leonis1025.67+08d 47` 05.810h 25m 15.19
45 Leonis421.40+09d 45` 44.710h 27m 38.99
46 Leonis693.96+14d 08` 14.010h 32m 11.80
48 Leonis266.04+06d 57` 13.010h 34m 48.07
49 Leonis428.60+08d 39` 01.610h 35m 02.19
49 Leonis Minoris630.88+18d 09` 10.610h 55m 56.13
5 G. Leo1964.84+06d 42` 31.009h 46m 10.04
50 G. Leo630.88+00d 07` 55.411h 23m 17.97
51 Leonis186.59+18d 53` 29.810h 46m 24.49
52 Leonis287.37+14d 11` 41.310h 46m 25.35
52 Leonis Minoris178.33+25d 32` 13.811h 07m 04.91
53 Leonis380.59+10d 32` 42.910h 49m 15.43
54 Leonis286.86+24d 44` 59.110h 55m 36.85
55 Leonis146.33+00d 44` 13.010h 55m 42.34
56 Leonis388.75+06d 11` 07.410h 56m 01.48
57 Leonis746.37+00d 25` 58.610h 56m 10.54
58 Leonis360.40+03d 37` 03.111h 00m 33.64
59 G. Leo525.22-01d 41` 59.811h 27m 53.73
59 Leonis151.21+06d 06` 05.411h 00m 44.83
6 Leonis499.48+09d 42` 56.909h 31m 57.58
6 Leonis Minoris463.96+25d 10` 58.209h 23m 31.85
60 Leonis126.76+20d 10` 47.111h 02m 19.78
61 Leonis584.52-02d 29` 04.211h 01m 49.67
62 Leonis606.25-00d 00` 03.011h 03m 36.63
64 Leonis252.64+23d 19` 25.511h 07m 39.72
65 Leonis206.17+01d 57` 20.611h 06m 54.43
67 G. Leo570.22-04d 21` 40.211h 34m 58.93
67 Leonis460.68+24d 39` 30.411h 08m 49.08
69 Leonis527.77-00d 04` 10.211h 13m 45.58
7 Leonis683.78+14d 22` 46.509h 35m 52.91
71 Leonis532.08+17d 26` 13.411h 22m 29.02
72 Leonis959.30+23d 05` 43.911h 15m 12.24
73 Leonis386.45+13d 18` 27.311h 15m 51.90
75 Leonis332.14+02d 00` 39.311h 17m 17.37
76 Leonis294.37+01d 39` 01.911h 18m 54.98
79 Leonis353.76+01d 24` 27.911h 24m 02.34
8 Leonis1160.72+16d 26` 16.709h 37m 02.59
80 Leonis182.42+03d 51` 36.711h 25m 50.10
81 Leonis143.24+16d 27` 23.611h 25m 36.46
83 Leonis58.57+03d 00` 21.111h 26m 46.70
83 Leonis B57.88+03d 00` 45.611h 26m 45.75
85 Leonis437.80+15d 24` 48.211h 29m 41.86
86 Leonis314.83+18d 24` 35.111h 30m 29.08
87 Leonis604.01-03d 00` 12.511h 30m 18.88
88 Leonis76.08+14d 21` 53.911h 31m 45.14
89 Leonis88.80+03d 03` 37.511h 34m 22.06
9 Leonis233.98+24d 40` 13.109h 37m 49.96
90 Leonis1896.30+16d 47` 48.911h 34m 42.50
92 Leonis270.00+21d 21` 10.211h 40m 47.11
93 Leonis232.64+20d 13` 08.211h 47m 59.23
95 Leonis494.94+15d 38` 48.511h 55m 40.53
Adhafera274.09+23d 25` 02.410h 16m 41.40
Al Jabhah1269.12+16d 45` 45.610h 07m 19.95
Al Minliar al Asad201.34+26d 10` 56.809h 24m 39.28
Algieba B+51 d 37 ` 45.018h 15m 40.06
Alterf329.13+22d 58` 05.009h 31m 43.24
Chertan165.06+15d 25` 47.111h 14m 14.44
Chi Leonis94.57+07d 20` 10.011h 05m 01.23
CW Leonis+13d 16` 43.5609h 47m 57.4
Denebola35.88+14d 34` 20.411h 49m 03.88
DR Leonis772.90+31d 16` 40.209h 41m 35.11
EO Leonis942.67+21d 56` 57.410h 02m 48.96
HN Leonis242.32+27d 45` 32.609h 58m 26.12
Iota Leonis77.22+10d 31` 46.911h 23m 55.37
Nu Leonis499.48+12d 26` 41.409h 58m 13.39
Omega Leonis108.18+09d 03` 24.409h 28m 27.38
Phi Leonis184.17-03d 39` 05.511h 16m 39.76
Pi Leonis406.18+08d 02` 39.410h 00m 12.82
Psi Leonis610.79+14d 01` 18.109h 43m 43.90
R Leonis232.48+11d 25` 44.009h 47m 33.49
Ras Elased Australis246.72+23d 46` 27.409h 45m 51.10
Rasalas124.11+26d 00` 25.509h 52m 45.96
Regulus79.30+11d 58` 01.910h 08m 22.46
Regulus B+11 d 59` 4810 h 08m 12.8
Regulus C+11 d 59` 4810 h 08m 12.8
Rho Leonis5436.06+09d 18` 23.710h 32m 48.68
Sigma Leonis220.08+06d 01` 45.711h 21m 08.25
Subra130.31+09d 53` 32.609h 41m 09.12
Tau Leonis562.35+02d 51` 22.611h 27m 56.23
Upsilon Leonis181.50-00d 49` 25.911h 36m 56.93
Wolf 3597d 00' 52.010h 56m 28.99
Xi Leonis215.57+11d 18` 00.109h 31m 56.79
Zosma58.43+20d 31` 26.511h 14m 06.41

Objects of Interest (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Leo

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
M105 Elliptical GalaxyElliptical Galaxy30.400-33.600+12:3510h 47m 8
M65 Spiral GalaxySpiral Galaxy41.000-42.000+13:0511h 18m 9
M66 Spiral GalaxySpiral Galaxy31.000-41.000+12:5911h 20m 2
M95 Spiral GalaxySpiral Galaxy31.200-34.000+11:4210h 44m 0
M96 Elliptical GalaxyElliptical Galaxy38000+11:4910h 46m 8

Leo Constellation's Star Breakdown

Type Breakdown

KLight Orange Star 3,700 - 5,200k690
FYellow-White 6,000 - 7,500k528
GYellow 5,200 - 6,000k500
AWhite 7,500 - 10,000k227
MRed Dwarf Star <3,700k93
BBlue-White 10,500 - 30,000k27

Size Breakdown

IIINormal Giant147
VMain Sequence112
IIBright Giant7
IbLess Luminous Supergiant2
IabIntermediate Luminous Supergiant1

Breakdown of Dwarf Stars by Type

sdsd Type SubDwarf Star3

Breakdown of Carbon Stars by Type

SS-Type Carbon Star3
CC-Type Carbon Star2

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