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The Constellation Leo, the lion
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Leo

The constellation Leo is known as the Lion. Leo's head and mane make up an upside-down question mark called the Sickle. One of the brightest spring stars, Regulus (Latin for "little king"), is at the base of the question mark. The rest of Leo's body, legs, and tail extend to the east.

During the dry season in ancient Egypt, the lions of the desert came close to the valley of the Nile when the river flooded, which used to happen when the Sun was in Leo. Some have interpreted this as the origin of the name of the constellation. The ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Persians, Syrians, Greeks, and Romans, all recognized this constellation as a lion.

Leo is visible from February through June. Cancer sets to the east and Virgo is to the west. Hydra and Crater are below.

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The Summer 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, available in our online store, includes articles on rivers and snow, classroom planetariums, satellites and oceanography, hands-on astronomy, and global warming.

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