Leo Constellation Facts
Leo is one of the constellations of the zodiac and belongs to the 88 modern constellations.
According to the tropical astrology the Sun resides in it from July 23 to August 22 while in the sidereal astrology the Sun is said to transit Leo from August 16 to September 15. Astrologically, this is associated with the Sun.
The constellation’s name comes from the Latin name for lion. The Greek Nemean Lion from the twelve labor challenge of Hercules. It was first described by Ptolemy.
This constellation is in the Northern Hemisphere and lies between Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east.
Dimensions: 947 square degrees.
Brightness: Quite a bright constellation, with 5 stars brighter than magnitude 3.
History: This constellation is amongst the first described. Sumerians identified it with Khumbaba, the monster killed by Gilgamesh. Babylonians identified it as the Great Lion. In Greek mythology it stand for the Nemean Lion in the twelve labor challenge of Heracles. This labor was later celebrated by Zeus by raising the lion to the sky.
Stars: Leo has four main stars: Alpha Leonis (Regulus), Beta Leonis (Denebola), Gamma Leonis (Algieba) and Delta Leonis (Zosma). The lion's mane and shoulders also form an asterism nown as "the Sickle," similar to a question mark. There are also some other bright and double or binary stars in this constellation.
Galaxies: The Leo Constellation contains many bright galaxies such as Messier 65, Messier 66 that belong to the Leo Triplet along with M66, a spiral galaxy. The Leo Ring represents a cloud of hydrogen and helium gas that is found in orbit of two galaxies found within this constellation.
Meteor showers: The Leonids take place in November, with a peak on November 14 at about 10 meteors per hour. There is also a minor shower between January 1 and January 7 which is called the January Leonids.