Fierce Storm Gives Way To A Gentle Lion


 A robin considers Friday’s storm — Bob King / News Tribune

This robin is doing his best to stay warm in the storm today. He reminds me of typical amateur astronomers on a cold night, all puffy in our down coats. People of a feather stay warm together.


Leo the Lion is dominates the mid-April sky — created with Stellarium

We’re going to get to the other side of this cloudy mess soon, and when we do, here’s a constellation for you to find. We’ve touched on Leo the Lion a couple times lately, mostly because Saturn has taken up residence there this spring. The planet and nearby bright star Regulus make a pair of "eyes" easily visible high in the south at nightfall.

From these two luminaries, it’s easy to work your way up, star by star, to find the "backwards question mark" that forms the Lion’s head.

Now stretch out your arm and make a fist against the sky. Put Saturn on the right and measure two fists to the left. You will have arrived at Leo’s triangular hindquarters and tail star Denebola. Denebola is derived from Arabic and means "tail of the lion."

After this fierce storm passes, come pay a visit to the friendly Lion. And if it’s clear by you tonight, watch for Mars just to the left of the waxing moon.