continued from Starlit Sky: 10. Cancer
The next constellation that we shall identify is Leo or the Lion. It is called Simha Raasi in the Indian Astrological System. Leo is one of the most ancient of constellations. It has been found documented in Babylonian, Greek and Indian literatures.
It is located east of Gemini. (If you need to revise, here is info on Gemini).
You can easily locate a bright star of magnitude of 1 shining brightly. That is Regalus also called Alpha Leonis. It is about 77 light years away from us and is a double star.
Denebola or Beta Leonis forms the tail of the lion. It has a magnitude of about 2.2 and is 36 light years away from Earth.
Algieba, or Gamma Leonis is a binary star visible through telescope. Its traditional name, Algieba, means “the forehead”.
Zosma or Delta Leonis, is a blue-white star of magnitude 2.58, 58 light-years from Earth.
These are not be confused with binary stars. Binary stars revolve around each other and are bound by a gravitational pull, where as, double stars are a pair of stars that appear together when viewed from Earth through optical telescope. It is just an optical line-of-sight alignment.
In the Indian Astrological System, Simha raasi forms the 5th raasi or constellation.
Regalus is called Magha star, Denebola is Uttara or Uttara Phalguni star and Zosma is called the Pubba or Purva Phalguni star.
to be continued…………….