• Leo - Leo the Lion

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    12 of 88
    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    East of the Gemini twins lies Leo the Lion.

    Find the bowl of the Big Dipper. A line running through the two stars of the bowl of the Big Dipper on the side nearest the handle points almost directly to two other notable stars. Follow them below the bowl of the Dipper to Regulus.

    Leo’s mane looks like a backward question mark, or sickle. Regulus, the "dot" at the bottom of the mark, lies nearly on the ecliptic.

    His flank is a triangle of stars farther east.

  • Lyn - Lynx

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    28 of 88
    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Lying between Ursa Major and Gemini, the Lynx is a row of very dim stars silhouetting its crouched outline. From antiquity the lynx was renowned for its keen night vision. Hevelius created this constellation in 1690, noting that one needs the eyes of a lynx to see it.

  • Lyr - Lyra the Harp

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    52 of 88
    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    To find Lyra, look for Vega, which forms the brightest point of the Summer Triangle. The summer triangle consists of Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, Altair in Aquila the Eagle, and bluish Vega in Lyra the Harp. Vega soars almost directly overhead in summer, while the bright stars of winter nights are hidden almost directly beneath our feet. Look for a small parallelogram of stars near Vega which forms the frame of the harp.

  • Ori - Orion the Hunter

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    26 of 88
    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Three stars in a row make up Orion’s belt, within a rectangle of four bright stars representing his shoulders and feet. At sunset in the autumn, Orion’s belt appears to rise straight up on the horizon. The sword hanging from his belt includes M42, the beautiful Orion nebula.

    Since Orion’s belt of three bright stars lies upon the celestial equator, Orion is visible from every inhabited part of the globe.

  • Peg - Pegasus the Flying Horse

    Size

    7 of 88
    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Farther along on the line from the Pointers to Polaris and Cassiopeia is a large, nearly perfect square of four stars. This is the Great Square of Pegasus. Pegasus, the Winged Horse, lies almost directly overhead in autumn. Located east of Andromeda; signals the coming of Fall. Because Pegasus flies so fast, his hind quarters can’t be seen.

  • Per - Perseus the Hero

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    24 of 88
    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Resembles a backward lambda. Located in the Milky Way, between Andromeda/Cassiopeia and Auriga/Taurus.

    Look for the Perseid meteor shower on August 12.

  • Psc - Pisces the Fishes

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    14 of 88
    Astronomical Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    South of Pegasus and Andromeda, near Aquarius. Pisces represents two fish tied together by two cords:

    • The western fish, a pentagon of stars just south of Pegasus, is an asterism known as the circlet.
    • The other fish lies on the opposite side of Pegasus, just under Andromeda.

    The brightest star, alpha-Piscium, is known as El-Rischa or the "knot" because it ties the two cords together with the two fish on the opposite ends. Alpha-Piscium lies nestled up next to Mira, a bright variable star of the constellation Cetus the Whale.