Regulus, Cor Leonis, and Leo I dwarf galaxy: an image – 3 Feb. 2024

We managed to capture the lighthouse and the firefly: the dazzling Regulus and the very faint Leo I dwarf galaxy, an extreme image.

The bright Regulus (alpha Leonis) and the Leo I dwarf galaxy. 3 Feb. 2024.

The bright Regulus (alpha Leonis) and the Leo I dwarf galaxy. 3 Feb. 2024.

The image above comes from the average of 31, 120-second unfiltered exposures, taken with the ARTEC250+Paramount ME+C3Pro61000EC robotic unit available as part of the Virtual Telescope Project facility in Manciano, Italy. The resulting frame was very heavily stretched to make the Leo I galaxy visible, keeping the flooding light from Regulus under control as much as possible.

The “Regulus – Leo I” couple is one of the most extreme examples of objects apparently close in the sky and showing a very huge difference in brightness: Regulus has a R magnitude of 1.37, while the average stars of Leo I in our image are around mag. 18.5, so Alpha Leonis is about 7 million times brighter.

Regulus is the brightest star of the zodiacal constellation of Leo (the Lion). It is the 21st brightest star in the night sky and actually is a system of at least four stars, placed at about 80 light years from the Earth. This name was likely introduced by Copernicus and means “Little King” from latin.

Leo I is a dwarf spheroidal galaxy and it is a member of our Local, likely a satellite of our Milky Way; its distance is estimated to be 820.000 light years, that is 10.000 times the distance of Regulus.

Our image shows stars in Leo I clearly resolved.

Back to “Galaxies” page

Support The Virtual Telescope Project!

Support us! Please, donate and receive unique, LIMITED EDITION set of images of the stunning comet 12P/Pons-Brooks with Andromeda Galaxy, of potentially hazardous asteroids, space stations and much more, specifically made for supporters like you!

(you can adjust the amount later)

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *