Find Leo Constellation and Regulus

In myth, Leo represents the Lion. Though there are multiple lions, I like the Nemean Lion best.
Photo credit: Mr E Science

Not many constellations really look like what they are supposed to look like. Cassiopeia, though easy to find, hardly looks like someone’s mom. Cancer looks like 4 very dim stars. Leo actually looks a bit like a lion. Or maybe a coat hanger, but you see the resemblance.

In order to find Leo, you’ll need to be able to find the Big Dipper. You can easily see the relationship between the two in the picture above. Leo is quite large, and the two rear stars on the cup point directly at Regulus.

This image from Astro Bob shows Leo’s relationship to the Big Dipper.

There is a second way to find Leo, too. He lies in a line of well known constellations. If you can find Orion, then Gemini, Leo is basically next in line. Look exactly between the Big Dipper and Castor and Pollux.

Regulus is the star marked alpha.
Image from Wikipedia.

Leo can only be found in the winter and spring in the Northern Hemisphere. He’s directly overhead about midnight in March where I live in Utah. His brightest star is Regulus which represents his front shoulder. An asterism known as “the sickle” makes up his neck and head.

Image used with permission from Clip Art Pal.
Be sure to click our Sky/Constellations tab or use these links: The Big DipperLittle Dipper, CassiopeiaCygnusDracoOrion, the Winter TrianglePleiadesPegasusAndromeda, Scorpius, and Taurus. We also find stars like BetelgeuseRigelPolarisBellatrix, Vega, Albireo, Deneb, Antares, and Sirius.