Home > Constellations, Ephemeris Program > 03/26/2015 – Ephemeris – Regulus the 21st brightest of the 21 brightest “First Magnitude” stars

03/26/2015 – Ephemeris – Regulus the 21st brightest of the 21 brightest “First Magnitude” stars

March 26, 2015

Ephemeris for Thursday, March 26th.  The Sun will rise at 7:35.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 27 minutes, setting at 8:02.   The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 3:04 tomorrow morning.

The bright star below and left of Jupiter as it shines in the southeast in the evening is the star Regulus in Leo the lion.  It’s at the base of the backward question mark of stars that make up the head and mane of Leo.  It is also an asterism or informal constellation of the Sickle.  Regulus is the dimmest of the 21 brightest stars which are called First Magnitude Stars.  It is a quadruple star system with two pairs of stars.  Regulus is a blue-white star which is rapidly spinning with a period of something like 16 hours, orbited by a possible white dwarf star every 40 days.  The star system is 79 light years away.  The name Regulus translates to something like Little King Star, befitting its location in the King of the beasts.

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

Addendum

Regulus and nearby constellations

Leo, Regulus and nearby constellations as seen in the east-southeast at 9 p.m. March 26, 2015. Created using Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts).

Below, zooming in to Regulus BC, the second pair of stars of the Regulus system, which is about 3 minutes of arc northwest of Regulus.  It consists of an 8th magnitude and a 14th magnitude star with the same proper motion (motion against the sky) as Regulus.

Regulus BC

The star TYC 833-134-1 is Regulus B, which is easily visible in telescopes at magnitude 8.1. The star is also listed as HD 87844. The first designation is from the Tycho catalog and is how it’s referenced in Cartes du Ceil. The star is shown, but not named in Stellarium. The is equatorial orientation is created using Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts).

 

 

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