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Leo (Latin for lion) is a constellation of the zodiac. Leo (♌) lies between dim Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east.


Notable features

This constellation contains many bright stars, such as Regulus (α Leonis), the lion's heart; Denebola (β Leonis); and Algieba (γ1 Leonis). Many other fainter stars have been named as well, such as Zosma (δ Leonis), Chort (θ Leonis), Al Minliar al Asad (κ Leonis), Alterf (λ Leonis), and Subra (ο Leonis).

Regulus, η Leonis, and Algieba, together with the fainter stars Adhafera (ζ Leonis), Ras Elased Borealis (μ Leonis), and Ras Elased Australis (ε Leonis), make up the asterism known as the Sickle. These stars represent the head and the mane of the lion.

A former asterism representing the tuft of the lion's tail has since become its own constellation, Coma Berenices.

The star Wolf 359, one of the nearest stars to Earth's solar system (7.7 light-years), is in Leo. Gliese 436, a faint star in Leo about 33 light years away from the Sun, is orbited by one of the smallest extrasolar planets ever found. [1]

Notable deep sky objects

Leo contains many bright galaxies of which the twins M65, M66 and M95, M96 are the most famous.


In Greek mythology, it was identified as the Nemean Lion (and may have been a source of the tale) which was killed by Herakles during one of his twelve labours, and subsequently put into the sky. The Egyptians worshipped the lion because the sun was in this constellation at the time of the life-giving floods of the Nile.


The astrological sign Leo (July 23 - August 22) is associated with the constellation. In some cosmologies, Leo is associated with the classical element Fire, and thus called a Fire Sign (with Aries and Sagittarius). Leo is also one of the Fixed signs (along with Taurus, Scorpio, and Aquarius). They are also highly energetic. Each astrological sign is assigned a part of the body, viewed as the seat of its power. Leo rules the heart and spine. The symbol for Leo is the lion. Leonine qualities include affectionate warmth, an outgoing nature, an imperial bearing, aggressive self-expression, and generosity of spirit. Negatively, Leos can be meladramatic, attention-seeking, and egocentric.

Some famous Leos: Ben Affleck, Halle Berry, Raymond Chandler, Bill Clinton, Cecil B. DeMille, Robert De Niro, Hulk Hogan, Whitney Houston, Mick Jagger, Stanley Kubrick, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Steve Martin, Herman Melville, Debra Messing, Benito Mussolini, Napoleon, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Sean Penn, Percy Bysshe Shelley, George Soros, Mae West.

Last updated: 06-02-2005 13:13:43
Last updated: 08-16-2005 21:17:51