Leo and Coma Berenices, March 24, 2008. The well known constellation Leo fills the right side of this photo. This is one of the few constellations that actually looks somewhat like its namesake. The curve of brighter stars on the right, like a backwards question mark, outlines the profile of the reclining lion. The triangle of brighter stars in the lower middle of the photo shows his hind quarters. On this night the backwards question mark looks a bit more like a letter S because the bright cream coloured planet Saturn carries on the curve past the usual stop at the bright bluish star Regulus.
The cluster of stars on the left of the photo is Coma Berenices. Its name means "Berenice's Hair" and it has been known as an asterism since ancient times. It is named after an actual person, Queen Berenice II of Egypt, wife of Ptolemy III Euergetes. The region around the constellation Coma Berenices is rich with distant galaxies, and it's a great place to study with binoculars or a telescope.
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