Night Sky's Spring Triangle

One of the brightest astronomical asterism of this spring is already in the night sky! It is rather curious that such a big star pattern is not among the best known. This giant geometrical figure is visible in the springtime all night long from any location in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring Triangle is made up of three stars from different constellations: Arcturus in Boötes the Herdsman, Spica in Virgo, and Regulus in Leo. During March, the trio will appear before midnight.

Yellowish Regulus will be the first night-time star of the Spring Triangle. Rising in the southeastern sky, it marks the Leo’s heart. Another two main stars of the asterism can be easily find using the stars of the Big Dipper. This time of the year, by mid-evening, it’s ascending in the northeast. About 9 p.m. local time, follow the curve of the Dipper’s handle away from the bowl. The line formed by the three stars of the Dipper’s handle leads first to very bright, orange-colored Arcturus, the brightest star in the northern skies, and then to blue-white Spica.

Sometimes, instead of Regulus, stargazers take Denebola to form the Spring Triangle. In that case, making a more nearly equilateral triangle. Being the second brightest star in Leo constellation, Denebola star marks the Lion’s tail. Although it is a bit dimmer than Regulus, it is still an easy naked-eye star.

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