Courtesy of EarthSky
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Tonight, the waxing gibbous moon shines close to Regulus, the brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion. Regulus is considered to be the Heart of the Lion in Leo.
Four to five thousand years ago, the Royal Stars defined the approximate positions of equinoxes and solstices in the sky. Regulus reigned as the summer solstice star, Antares as the autumn equinox star, Fomalhaut as the winter solstice star, and Aldebaran as the spring equinox star. Regulus is often portrayed as the most important Royal Star, possibly because it symbolized the height and glory of the summer solstice sun.
Regulus coincided with the summer solstice point some 4,300 years ago. In our time, the sun has its annual conjunction with Regulus on or near August 22, or about two months after the summer solstice, or one month before the autumn equinox. Regulus will mark the autumn equinox point some 2,100 years into the future.
So look for bright star by the moon tonight – Regulus, the Royal Star. It still reigns over its quadrant of sky and still serves as a marker of the seasons.