June 15, 2021: The moon is with the Sickle of Leo this evening. Step outside about an hour after sunset to find the crescent moon that is about 30% illuminated over one-third of the way up in the west.
This evening the crescent moon is in the western sky during the early evening hours.
During the next few evenings, the moon moves in front of Leo’s stars.
This evening the moon is near the star Eta Leonis (η Leo on the chart). This star is with a pattern that resembles a backwards question mark, known as the “Sickle of Leo.”
In his book, Stars in Our Heavens, Peter Lum wrote that in Greek Mythology, Leo fell from the sky and terrified the residents of Corinth. Hercules killed the animal. Some drawings of Hercules show the Lion’s pelt on is head as a helmet.
To others, the Lion was much larger, including nearly a half dozen other modern constellations.
The brightest star is Regulus, “the prince,” a name of Latin origin. Robert Burnham, in his Celestial Handbook, stated that Copernicus provided the modern name. He further traces the name through various cultures: Al-Maliki (Arabia) – “the Kingly One;” Sharru (Babylonia) – “The King;” Magha (India) – “the Great One.”
Like Sirius, Leo is associated with hot summer weather. Lions were known to visit the Nile River during the hot days of summer.
The Sickle of Leo is a group of stars that resembles a familiar shape, an asterism. Other such famous patterns are the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Summer Triangle, Winter Triangle, and Teapot of Sagittarius, among others.
The Sickle is a farmer’s implement for cutting. It has a curved blade and a handle.
In his compilation of star names and their meanings, George Davis, lists the names of the brighter stars in the Sickle. After Regulus and its Latin origin, most of the stars have Arabic roots for the large lion constellation they saw in the sky.
Algieba – the forehead (of the Arabian Lion)
Adhafera – the plaited or twisted hair.
Rasalas – (the star in) the northern part of the head.
Ras Alased Australis – the southern part of the head.
Step outside and take a look at the Lion’s head and the moon this evening.
2021, June 15: The crescent moon is 1.1° to the left of the star Eta Leonis (η Leo).
Articles and Summaries
- Venus as an Evening Star
- Venus Evening Star (Summary)
- Mars during 2021 (Summary)
- Planets during June 2021
November 7, 2021: During the early evening Venus and the moon group together in the southwest.
November 6, 2021: The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.
October 29, 2021: Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. It is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn. The crescent moon and Mercury are in the eastern sky before sunrise.