The faintest Magnitude 1 star located contemporarily in one of the constellation Leo's front feet. It is coloured a bluish-white, shines about twice as brightly as Polaris, is approximately 80 light-years away and is over 100 times as luminous as the Sun.

Its proper name is Alpha Leonis (that is, the brightest star in Leo).

Regulus is known as the "Heart of the Lion", and is the brightest star in Leo, the Lion. Leo is perhaps the easiest constellation of the Zodiac to identify, and Regulus is one of the easier stars to find. Using the Big Dipper, a line down through the two stars forming the rear of the handle will point down towards Regulus, in the same way that the front two stars point up towards Polaris.

Regulus is one of the four brightest stars to appear in the Zodiac, along with Antares, Spica and Aldebaran. Because it is has a slightly northern declination, and is mostly in the sky in winter, Regulus is much more obviously bright than Antares or Spica, even though their magnitude is greater. This at least is true in the Northern Hemisphere, in the Southern Hemisphere, the situation is reversed.

Another feature of Regulus that makes it important for observational astronomy is that it lies very close to the plane of the ecliptic, and thus is often passed very closely by the moon and planets, and is sometimes occulted by them.

Reg"u*lus (-l?s), n.; pl. E. Reguluses (-z), L. Reguli (-l). [L., a petty king, prince, dim. of rex, regis, a king: cf. F. r'egule. See Regal.]

1.

A petty king; a ruler of little power or consequence.

2. Chem. & Metal.

The button, globule, or mass of metal, in a more or less impure state, which forms in the bottom of the crucible in smelting and reduction of ores.

⇒ The name was introduced by the alchemists, and applied by them in the first instance to antimony. I signifies little king; and from the facility with which antimony alloyed with gold, these empirical philosophers had great hopes that this metal, antimony, would lead them to the discovery of the philosopher's stone.

Ure.

3. Astron.

A star of the first magnitude in the constellation Leo; -- called also the Lion's Heart.

 

© Webster 1913.

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