Tag Archives: Cancer

Leo (The lion)

Constellation LeoLeo, the lion, is a distinctive zodiacal constellation that was cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is located on the ecliptic between Cancer and Virgo, and can be found below the bowl of the Big Dipper with both constellations arriving at their highest nightfall ascension in April.  Leo closely resembles a crouching lion with its rather distinct backward question mark, or sickle asterism. This constellation features the bright star Regulus (Alpha Leonis) at the back of the lion’s head.

The most famous deep sky object in Leo is The Leo Triplet is a close grouping of the galaxies M65, M66 (displayed) and NGC3628 that can be seen together in a single telescopic field of view. For those observing with telescopes, there are several other galaxies cataloged by Charles Messier are located in Leo, to include M65, M66, M95, M96 and M105. Leo is also home to the famous Leonids meteor shower that occurs during November, peaking at about 10 meteors per hour on November 14th and 15th.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_(constellation)

IAU Leo chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg, June 5, 2011.
IAU Leo chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

The Beehive Cluster (M44)

The Beehive Cluster (M44), in Cancer was the first star cluster that I observed, and it left with me the impression of tiny diamonds on a black felt cloth. Interestingly, M44 is actually brighter than any of Cancer’s stars, but is difficult to see unaided in less than perfectly dark skies. The cluster is located in the center of the constellation, so locate it by looking half way between Pollux and Regulus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beehive_Cluster

Cancer (The crab)

CancerCC_croppedCancer, the crab, is a zodiacal constellation of rather dim stars that can be difficult to see in light polluted skies. It is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. Cancer is located on the ecliptic, half way between Pollux in Gemini and Regulus in Leo, and is highest in the sky at nightfall in March. If Cancer’s stars are not visible, try using binoculars, and then look again once the various stars in the constellation have been located. Cancer is home to two Messier objects, M44 (the Beehive Cluster, or Praesepe) and M67.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer_(constellation)

IAU Cancer chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 4, 2011.
IAU Cancer chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 4, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net