Leo [Lat., = the lion], northern constellation lying S of Ursa Major and on the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun through the heavens) between Cancer and Virgo; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. The Egyptians, Babylonians, Arabs, and Greeks all represented this constellation as a lion; it may be the first constellation to be pictorially represented. The most famous star in Leo is Regulus (Alpha Leonis). The western part of the constellation is a curved line known as the Sickle; it represents the lion's head. The main constellation terminates in Denebola (Beta Leonis), the Lion's Tail. The meteor showers known as the Leonids appear to come from this constellation. Leo reaches its highest point in the evening sky in April.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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