Name a Star in the Leo Minor Constellation

Modified: July 1, 2023     Author: International Star Registry

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The constellation Leo Minor, the small lion, derives its name from its location just north of Leo. This small constellation’s asterism is shaped like a kite. Although it is a newer constellation, designated by Johanne Hevelius in 1684, it is a favorite place to name a star among many cat lovers. The lovely little lion shines most brightly overhead in February and can be observed from throughout the northern hemisphere and south to Australia! 

There are a number of famous people and politicians that have stars named after them in this constellation: Busy Philipps, Doris Day, Marco Rubio, and Kristin Kreuk. Click here for more information.

The brightest star in the Leo Minor Constellation is Praecipua, an orange star with an apparent magnitude of 3.83. Three of the stars in Leo Minor are thought to have exoplanets, HD 87883, HD 82886, and Kelt-3. Leo Minor also contains an unusual object known as Hanny’s Voorwerp. This rare quasar ionization echo was discovered in 2007 by school teacher Hanny van Arkel. The constellation Leo Minor shares a border with the constellations Cancer, Leo, Lynx and Ursa Major. 

Symbol: LMi 

Right Ascension: 10:24 

Declination: 34 

Diameter (°): 12 

Area (square °): 232 

Opposition: Feb 23 

Size Rank: 64th 

Brightness Rank: 75th 

Genitive: Leonis Minoris 


Major or notable stars in Leo Minor 

Praecipua – 46 Leonis Minoris 

β Leonis Minoris (Beta Leonis Minoris) 

21 Leonis Minoris 

10 Leonis Minoris 

37 Leonis Minoris 

20 Leonis Minoris 

11 Leonis Minoris 

HD 87883 


Deep Sky Objects in Leo Minor 

Hanny’s Voorwerp and IC 2497  

Arp 107 

NGC 3021 

NGC 3432 

NGC 3003 

NGC 3344 

NGC 3486 

NGC 3504 

NGC 2859 


Mythology of the Constellation Leo Minor 

The “Little Lion” was one of Hevelius’ creations, conjured up from unformed stars of the ancients scattered between Leo on the south and Ursa Major on the north.Leo Minor was described as a lion because the ancients didn’t know what else to name the grouping of small stars so near the great lion. Leo Minor contains 53 main stars, including only one of the 3rd magnitude, and only 5 of the 4th magnitude. Leo Minor remained undescribed for centuries. It is a relatively new constellation, having been added to our celestial maps only since the adoption of Greek notation in the 1600’s. These are referred to by the letters of the English alphabet instead of the Greek.

“The Smaller Lion now succeeds; a cohort Of fifty stars attend his steps; And three, to sigh unarm’d, invisible.” – The Geography of the Heavens – Elijah H. Burritt 1860 

This is to say that Leo Minor does not conform to the shape of a lion, but rather is simply a small constellation near the Great Lion from which it took its name.


Q. What is Leo Minor? 

A. Leo Minor was one of the constellations he created from 18 stars between Ursa Major and Leo.Leo Minor is a faint and small constellation occupying only 232 square degrees of the sky. 

Q. What is the brightest star in Leo Minor? 

A. Praecipua is the brightest star in Leo Minor. 

Q. When and where is Leo Minor best visible? 

A. Leo Minor is best seen in the Springtime from the Northern Hemisphere. 

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