Leo Characteristics: Leo represents those born from July 23—August 22. Leo is the fifth Zodiac sign of the year, right after Cancer.
Myth and Legend: In ancient Greek mythology Leo represents the lion and one lion in particular: The Nemean lion. This lion was much larger and tougher than a normal lion. For it was also the child of two monsters; Typhon and Echidna. After eating lots of people in Nemea, the famous Greek hero Hercules (Heracles) was ordered to kill it, as the first of his twelve labors.
Unfortunately, the Nemean lion had an incredibly tough hide, so normal arrows and spears simply bounced off its’ golden fur. Hercules overcame this problem with his legendary strength. He first wrestled, then strangled the lion. He later wore the animal’s skin as a cloak. Its special fur helped to protect him from other dangers.
It was later placed in the sky by the Gods, because the lion was considered king of all the beasts on Earth.
Hercules slaying the Nemean lion. Roman mosaic Lliria, Spain: Credit Wikipedia
Constellation: The Leo constellation is a big improvement on many other star clusters, in that the body of the constellation actually does look like a large cat resting. The head however is another story. Where’s the lion’s majestic profile and magnificent mane? This head is more hook than handsome. In fact, the whole Leo constellation honestly looks more like a coat hanger, than the mightiest of the beasts. But as constellations go—I have to admit —it’s more realistic than most.
When can you see the Leo constellation in the night sky? Well it’s easier to spot than most, due to the body of the constellation looking like—a big cat! The best viewing time is in April at around 9pm; between latitudes + 90° and – 65° in the northern hemisphere. If you live in the southern hemisphere, look for the Leo constellation in the summer and autumn/fall. As always use a star map as a guide and a knowledgeable star gazer is a big help.
Extra Fun Fact: Leo is Latin for lion. And did you know that lions used to live in Greece? Yes, until about 100BC, when they became extinct!
Next Post—Curious about Virgo, (August 23 – September 22). The Story of Virgo and How to spot this Constellation in the Night Sky.
Evonne Blanchard is the author of, ‘Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace and ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage. These are the first two books in, ‘Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventures,’ an exciting series of ten books set in outer space (for children ages 5-9).
Ever wondered if aliens exist? What if one needed your help? Would you travel to outer space? For the adventures… of a lifetime!
Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage: Book Two
Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help. His sister is very sick. The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune. With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest. More items are needed to buy the crystal. But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens. Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?
“A lively sequel offers a sure-handed blend of fantasy, humor, adventure, and an ingenious heroine.” Kirkus Reviews
5/5 star rating! “Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage is a wonderful children’s book that will allow your kids to get started in the Sci-Fi genre… The story is intriguing and well thought out. All in all, the author did a great job of creating an engaging story that kept my kids interested. We are definitely looking forward to the next book!”- Examiner.com
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Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace: Book One
When is a present not a present? When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from the planet Pluto! Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon. Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help. Should Amelia venture into outer Space?
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“Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” – Kirkus Reviews
“The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.” —Beautiful Books for Children