Home > Asterism, Constellations, Ephemeris Program > 04/17/2014 – Ephemeris – Leo and the bright star Regulus

04/17/2014 – Ephemeris – Leo and the bright star Regulus

April 17, 2014

Ephemeris for Thursday, April 17th.  The sun rises at 6:54.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 8:29.   The moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 11:19 this evening.

High in the south at 10 p.m. is a pattern of stars that’s in the shape of a backward question mark.  This informal star group or asterism, is also called the sickle.  It is the head and mane of the official zodiacal constellation of Leo the lion.  To the left is a triangle of stars is his hind end.  The bright star at the bottom of the question mark, or end of the sickle’s handle is Regulus, the “Little King Star”, alluding to the lion’s status as the king of the jungle.  Regulus is about 79 light years away and is a 4 star system that exists as two star pairs.  The bright star Regulus itself and a companion too close to be imaged directly in telescopes, and a nearby pair of dim stars make up the system.  The Moon often passes in front of Regulus, since it’s close its path.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Leo's Sickle

Leo’s sickle and backward question mark asterisms circled in green. Note that it is within the range of the moon’s orbit so it can be covered or occulted by the Moon. Created using Stellarium.

Leo finder chart

Leo finder chart for 10 p.m. April 17, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

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