Regulus – the star of the lion | lion heart | Star Little King | Star Alpha Lioness

If you ever wondered if the great kings of the past were watching us from heaven, look no further than Regulus. It is located in the constellation Leo, and its name is translated from Latin as “little king”. But even if you’re not interested in the mystical, Regulus is still a fascinating object to watch. It shines brightly in the night sky and is one of the easiest stars to find without special equipment. Read the article to learn how to find Regulus in the sky, and don’t miss the Fun Facts section proving the royal roots of the little king.

Regulus (Alpha Leonis) – Important facts about the stars

  • official name: Regulus, Alpha Leonis, Alpha Leo, α Leo
  • Alternative namesCor Leonis, Lionheart, Basiliskos, Kabeleced, Rex
  • Catalog names: 32 Leonis, HIP 49669, HR 3982, HD 87901, TYC 833-1381-1
  • constellation: Leo
  • star type: main sequence star of class B7 V
  • correct ascent: 10 h 08 m 21.2 s
  • deviation: + 11 ° 58 ′ 06.3
  • virtual destiny: 1.4
  • Mass: 3.8 solar masses
  • Glitter: 316.2 liters
  • Beam: 4.35 sunshine
  • surface heat: 12.460 km
  • distance from the ground: 79.3 light years
  • rotation period: 16 hours

Regulus galaxy

Although Regulus appears to be a single star, it is actually a system of four stars arranged in two pairs. The first pair, known as Regulus A, consists of a blue main sequence star Spectral type B8 and a putative white dwarf in the main sequence. The blue star is visible to the naked eye, and its partner has never been directly observed. Astronomers predicted its existence using Spectral analysis.

If you have a small telescope with at least 50x magnification, you can spot the third star in the Regulus system, named Regulus B. It is a cool orange dwarf star of spectral type K2 V. Regulus B has its own companion, Regulus C, which is a red dwarf of spectral type M4V. You’ll need a powerful telescope to look at Regulus C.

How do you see Regulus in the sky?

Regulus is the twenty-first brightest star in the sky. Located within the constellation of Leo, it is one of the three bright stars that make up the Spring Trapezium, its defining star. The apparent star has a magnitude of 1.4, which means that it can be seen with the naked eye easily without any telescopes or binoculars.

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So if you’re looking for a new celestial body to explore and show off to your friends, Regulus is a great option. Now let’s find out how to locate this beautiful star in the sky above you.

When is Regulus visible?

Regulus can be seen in the sky most of the year, except for a brief period from early August to early September when the star is very close to the Sun. You can see Regulus in the morning sky from mid-September. Then it moves into the night sky around mid-February. Regulus is Visible from the northern and southern hemispheres. Note that the main star constellation, Leo, appears upside down at southern latitudes.

The best time to observe Regulus is from the end of March to May, When the star is higher than the horizon.

How to find the brightest star Leo – Sickle Leo

The classic way to find Regulus in the night sky is to look at it in relation to other celestial bodies. Regulus is part of the star sign called Sickle of Leo, which looks like an inverted question mark. To locate Regulus, start by looking for the crescent moon in the part of the sky where you see the moon and planets (near the ecliptic).

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you can also use the famous Big Dipper, the asterism of Ursa Major, to find the star. Draw an imaginary line between the two stars on the outer edge of the Big Dipper’s bowl, Dubhe and Merak. Extend this line down about eight times, and you will come to Regulus, the brightest star in this direction. Keep in mind that planets also move nearby, so if you don’t want to confuse Regulus with Venus, read our article on how planets and stars differ.

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In the Northern Hemisphere, you can find Regulus using the Big Dipper.

How to find the bright star Leo – Sky Tonight

Exploring the night sky is exciting, and it can also be very easy with a good astronomy app like Sky Tonight. With this free app, you can find Regulus in a few simple steps:

  • Open the app’s search bar and type “Regulus”.
  • Tap the blue target button to the right of the match result. The app shows you the location of the star on a star map.
  • Tap the blue compass button at the bottom right of the screen. The app will use your device’s location to align your screen image with the real sky above you.
  • Move your device according to the white arrow until you see Regulus on screen and in the real sky.

In addition to the bright Regulus, there are thousands of other celestial bodies for you to discover with Sky Tonight. Looking at Our video lessons To get the most out of this app.

Find Regulus on Sky Tonight
You can find Regulus hassle-free with this free astronomy app Sky Tonight. The app displays the location of celestial bodies in the real sky above you.

Fun facts

Little King Star

Do you remember the great kings we mentioned at the beginning of this article? Well, there are several reasons for that. First, Regulus means “little king” in Latin. Secondly, it belongs to the constellation Leo, and lions are often referred to as the “kings of beasts.” Many other historical names for Regulus also emphasize its royal significance.

The Greeks called the star Cardia Leontus, and its Latin name was Cor Leonis. In Arabic it was called the heart of the lion. All three of these names have the same meaning: “Lionheart”. Interestingly, King Richard I of England was also famous as the Lionheart. And that’s not all! As early as 3000 BC. Regulus was known for her majestic nature. Babylonian astronomers called it “Sharu”, meaning “king”. The Persians called it Mian, meaning “center”, and considered it one of the four royal stars. In India, the star was known as Maghā, meaning “dear”. Will you not now look upon Regulus with more respect and admiration?

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Media star

Not only ancient peoples paid attention to regulas. The star can be found in popular TV series such as Babylon 5 and Star Trek, as well as computer games such as BattleTech, the Frontier series, and Descent: FreeSpace. In addition, fans of JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series will remember the character Regulus Black. He was Sirius Black’s brother, Harry’s godfather, whose name was a reference to the brightest star in the sky.

Quickly rotating, egg-shaped

Did you know that not all stars are perfectly round? Take Vega, for example, which is flattened at the poles. Well guess what? Our Regulus is even more interesting – it’s egg-shaped! This particular shape is the result of Regulus’ rapid rotation. The star makes a full rotation on its axis approximately every 16 hours. In comparison, it takes our Sun 27 days to complete one cycle.

According to scientists that if Regulus ran only 10% faster, he would tear himself apart. But do not worry about the well-being of our little king. The researchers assure us that nothing in the Regulus star system can accelerate to such a dangerous speed.

Regulus form
A computer-generated model based on data from the Center for High-Angular-Resolution Astronomy at Georgia State University shows that Regulus has the shape of an egg due to its rapid rotation. Regulus is shown next to a scale model of the Sun for comparison.

Friends with the moon and planets

Staying close to the ecliptic, Regulus often encounters the sun, moon, and planets. Sometimes, Regulus will be obscured from our view by one of these objects — astronomers call this “invisibility.” Regulus is often obscured by the moon, but sometimes the planets also obscure it. For example, on October 1, 2044, Venus will block Regulus. Save the date!


Now you know how to find Regulus in the night sky and admire the “Little King” yourself. Find the star using the Big Dipper as a guide, or make it easier on yourself with this easy-to-use astronomy app Sky Tonight. Whichever method you choose, we hope you will have clear skies and a successful stargazing experience! Enjoy watching!

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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