Cancer, Leo, and Leo Minor - Downloadable article
Springtime skies show off a bevy of galaxies in the constellations the Crab, the Lion, and the Little Lion.
March 3, 2009
|This downloadable article is from an Astronomy magazine 45-article series called "Celestial Portraits." The collection highlights all 88 constellations in the sky and explains how to observe each constellation's deep-sky targets. The articles feature star charts, stunning pictures, and constellation mythology. We've put together 11 digital packages. Each one contains four Celestial Portraits articles for you to purchase and download.|
"Leo, Leo Minor, and Cancer" is one of four articles included in Celestial Portraits Package 11.
As spring arrives, the winter Milky Way yields to sparse star fields filled with galaxies. Following Gemini, Cancer the Crab is most easily seen as an upside-down Y shape. The first constellation to herald spring's arrival is Leo the Lion.
Skywatchers can identify a prominent group of stars resembling a backward question mark dubbed the Sickle. At the base of this asterism sits Regulus, a blue-white gem of 1st magnitude located 80 light-years away. Lying on the ecliptic, Regulus often gets occulted by the Moon. Its angular size is diminutive, but occultation results have shown it to be about three times the diameter of the Sun. At the far end of a right triangle east of the Sickle lies Denebola, a 2nd-magnitude star only 36 light-years away. Leo Minor the Little Lion consists of an unassuming chain of four 4th-magnitude stars sandwiched between Leo and Ursa Major. To read the complete article, purchase and download Celestial Portraits Package 11.
|Deep-sky objects in Leo, Leo Minor, and Cancer|
NGC 2775, M67 (NGC 2682), M44 (NGC 2632), NGC 2903, Leo I, Algieba, NGC 3190, NGC 3227, NGC 3344, NGC 3486, M95 (NGC 3351), M96 (NGC 3368), M105 (NGC 3379), NGC 3377, NGC 3521, M65 (NGC 3623), M66 (NGC 3627), NGC 3628, Abell 1367