Moon near Regulus on October 20

Moon near Regulus: Steep green line of ecliptic with crescent moon near Regulus close to ecliptic.
The morning of October 20, 2022, finds the waning crescent moon near Regulus, the brightest star in Leo the Lion. Chart via John Jardine Goss/ EarthSky.

The moon is near Regulus on October 20

The bright star shining close to the waning crescent moon on the morning of October 20, 2022, is Regulus, Heart of the Lion, in the constellation Leo the Lion.

To get a precise view from your location try Stellarium online.

The moon near Regulus helps you locate the Sickle

If you look carefully and have a dark-enough sky, you can make out patterns in the stars near Regulus. For example, Regulus is part of a group of stars that looks like a backward question mark. And Regulus – the brightest star in Leo – is at the bottom of this question mark. By the way, this pattern of stars is called the Sickle. What’s more, it’s not a constellation but instead an asterism, or recognizable pattern in the sky.

Also, if the sky is dark enough, look for a triangle of stars marking the tail of the lion. The star at the end of the tail is Denebola. In fact, the moon will be close to Denebola on the morning of October 22, 2022.

Star chart of the constellation Leo the Lion with stars in black on white and line of ecliptic running across.
Chart of the constellation Leo. You can see Regulus marks the bottom of the Sickle and Denebola is part of the triangle making up the lion’s tail. Image via IAU/ Sky & Telescope.

A bit of information about Regulus

Regulus ranks 21st in the list of brightest stars in our sky.

While Regulus looks like one star to the eye, it’s really four stars.

Also, Regulus is the only bright star to reside almost squarely on the ecliptic. That is the Earth’s orbital plane projected onto the sky. So, bright planets and the moon pass near Regulus. As a result, Regulus is often occulted by the moon and sometimes even the planets Mercury and Venus.

Regulus is visible at some time of night most of the year, except for about a month on either side of August 22. That’s when Regulus is too near the sun to see.

Bottom line: Regulus is the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion. The moon can help you find Regulus on the morning of October 20, 2022.

For more great observing events in the coming weeks, visit EarthSky’s night sky guide

October 19, 2022

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