Luna and the Lion’s Heart Tonight

Written by The Night Sky Guy on June 26, 2009 – 10:53 am -

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If you have clear skies tonight check out a beautiful crescent Moon pairing up with the  bright star, Regulus in the southwest horizon at around 10 pm. Up until a few hundred years back, this blue-white star was called officially by its Latin name – Cor Leonis – The Lion’s Heart’. It is the brightest star in the constellation Leo and if you lookat the outline of the mythical figure, Regulus definitely does mark the spot where the lion’s heart would be.

Regulus is about 77 light years away and is larger and much younger than our own Sun – 3.5 times bigger and only a few hundred million years old.  What you may not know is that it is in fact a multiple star system consisting of 4 different stars that revolve around each other in pairs. Also recent observations of this bright star has revealed that its spins so fast around its axis, that its shape is distorted resembling an egg. While our Sun rotates on its axis in about 24 hours, Regulus takes only 16 hours !

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Posted in Constellations, Solar System, Stargazing, stars, The Moon | 238 Comments »

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