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Posts Tagged ‘Denebola’

05/25/2017 – Ephemeris – Another look at Leo the lion

May 25, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Ascension Thursday, Thursday, May 25th.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 9 minutes, setting at 9:14, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:04.  The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

The constellation Leo the lion is now high in the southwest at 10:30 pm.  It’s below the Big Dipper higher up near the zenith.  Leo is marked by two sets of easily recognizable stars.  The front of him is a backward question mark of stars, also known as the Sickle that mark his head and mane, along with the front part of his body.  Regulus is the star at the bottom of that backwards question mark.  It’s the Little King Star.  The hind end of him is a triangle of stars ending with another bright star, but not as bright as Regulus.  It’s Denebola which means Lion’s tail.  It was thought when the sun was in this constellation long ago that the lions were driven by the heat to quench their thirst in the Nile river.   Ancient physicians thought medicines were poison when the Sun was here too.

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

Addendum

Finding Leo the lion

Animation on how to find Leo the lion at 10:30 p.m., May 25, 2017. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.  Click on image to enlarge if necessary.

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02/20/2017 – Ephemeris – The spring constellations are rising

February 20, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for President’s Day, Monday, February 20th.  The Sun will rise at 7:34.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 6:18.  The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:59 tomorrow morning.

With spring only a month away, lets turn our eyes eastward in the evening to the rising spring stars.  In contrast to the brilliant stars of the winter skies still holding forth in the south, and running along the Milky Way overhead and to the northwest, the stars to the east are rather sparse and dull.  The only exception is the Big Dipper to the northeast.  The one bright star in the east is Regulus, whose rank as a first magnitude star is dead last in brightness.  It is in the heart of the constellation of Leo the lion, and as such has gained a great amount of fame.  Regulus is at the base of a backward question mark of stars that is informally known a the Sickle.  It is also the characteristic head and mane of a male lion.  A triangle of stars to the lower left are his back end ending with Leo’s second brightest star Denebola, literally “Lion’s Tail”.

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

Addendum

 

Comparison of winter stars vs. spring stars.

Comparison of winter stars vs. spring stars. Created using Stellarium.

The constellation Leo animation

The constellation Leo animation. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

02/26/2016 – Ephemeris – The lion roars into the evening sky

February 26, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, February 26th.  The Sun will rise at 7:26.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 6:25.   The Moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 10:27 this evening.

Besides the advancing sunset times, there is another sign that spring is coming.  That’s the appearance of the constellation Leo the lion rising in the east in the evening.  The front of this beast is a backward question mark of stars with the bright star Regulus as the dot at the bottom.  That’s his head, mane and chest.  His haunches are a triangle of stars to the lower left, the last star is in the east above brilliant planet Jupiter. just clearing the horizon at 9 p.m.  One way to find Leo is to remember that cat’s aren’t supposed to like water, though mine have always had a certain fascination with the toilet.  Find the Big Dipper standing on its handle and imagine drilling a hole in the bottom of the bowl.  The water, falling from the north, will fall on Leo’s back.

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

Addendum

Finding Leo

How to find Leo with Jupiter and the Big Dipper. At 10 p.m. on February 26, 2016. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

03/13/2015 – Ephemeris – Leo rising

March 13, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, March 13th.  The Sun will rise at 7:59.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 46 minutes, setting at 7:46.   The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 3:35 tomorrow morning.

The constellation Leo the lion is now rising in the east at 9 pm.  It’s below and left of the Big Dipper higher up in the east-northeast.  Leo is marked by two sets of easily recognizable stars.  The front of him is a backward question mark of stars, also known as the Sickle that mark his head and mane, along with the front part of his body.  Regulus is the star at the bottom of that backwards question mark.  It’s the Little King Star.  Jupiter this year is above right if it.  The hind end of him is a triangle of stars ending with another bright star, but not as bright as Regulus.  It’s Denebola which means Lion’s tail.  It is thought when the sun was in this constellation long ago that the lions were driven by the heat to quench their thirst in the Nile river.   Ancients physicians thought medicines were poison when the sun was here too.

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

Addendum

Leo rising

Leo rising in the east behind Jupiter at 9 p.m. on March 13, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

03/24/2014 – Ephemeris – The spring constellation of Leo the lion

March 24, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Monday, March 24th.  The sun will rise at 7:38.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 7:59.   The moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 4:09 tomorrow morning.

Tonight about 10:00 the constellation of Leo the lion can be seen half way up the sky in the east-southeast.  The head and mane of a male lion is seen as a backward question mark.  This pattern of stars is also called the sickle.  The bright star that is the dot at the bottom is Regulus, the “Little King Star”.  To the lower left is a triangle of stars that is the lion’s hind end with the star Denebola at the far end.  It is said that the reason the figure of a lion came to be seen in the stars here is because lions came from the desert, driven by the heat, to drink from the river Nile the time of the year that the sun was in this part of the sky.  Leo is one of the constellations of the Zodiac.  Leo can also be found by first locating the Big Dipper high in the northeast.  Imagine a hole drilled in the bowl of the dipper and the water will fall on Leo’s back.

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

Addendum

Leo and the Big Dipper

Leo and the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) using the angle measuring tool as an arrow. Date: March 24, 10 p.m. Created using Stellarium.