α Leporis

I've suggested approaching alpha Leporis after visiting mu Leporis, but if you'd rather jump right to the star, the easiest way is to start at Orion's belt.
     From epsilon Orionis (the belt's central star) drop south 20 - four binocular fields. You'll have alpha Leporis in a relatively lonely part of the sky.

Alpha Leporis, "Arneb", is a yellow supergiant 1280 light years away; it's a multiple binary (h3766) with very faint companions:
      AB (pale yellow and grayish): 2.6, 11.2; 157, 35.5", probably optical.
      AC: 2.6, 11.9; 186, 91".

In the same field as alpha -- due east two degrees -- is the interesting binary system h3780.

To the west of alpha one binocular field is mu Leporis; click on this star to find the various objects in its vicinity.

When you come back to alpha there are two fine binaries south of the star to examine:
      S 476AB: 6.3, 6.5; 18, 39.2".
      h3759: 5.9, 7.3; 318, 26.6".

Now with alpha Leporis centred move southwest one binocular field: beta Leporis will be on your northeastern edge, on the southern edge will appear M79.
     This faint globular cluster, with an apparent magnitude of 8.6, is made up mostly of red giants. It needs a medium telescope to resolve all its members.

Beta Leporis is a close binary with an 11th-magnitude companion, very difficult except with the largest telescopes.

In the same field are two telescopic binaries: h3750 and h3752; the latter is a fine triple:
      h3750: 4.7, 8.5; 279, 4.1".
      h3752AB (white/white): 5.4, 6.6; 99, 3.5".
         AC (light yellow): 5.4, 9.3; 105, 61.3".

With beta centred, move half a binocular field east to gamma Leporis.
      Perhaps the finest binary in this constellation, gamma Leporis is a wide binary with a lovely colour contrast, yellow and reddish-orange: 3.6, 6.3; 350, 95".

Click on gamma on the map for more information about this star.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.