β Leo Minoris

Beta Leo Minoris is only the second brightest star in this constellation, with a magnitude of 4.62; 46 LMi has a visual magnitude of 3.79.

Leo Minor is the only constellation in the northern hemisphere with no 'alpha'.

Beta LMi is a very rapid binary: 4.6. 6/0; 224, 0.5", with the companion completing one orbit every 37.9 years.
      This 6.0 companion is approaching its greatest separation, now at 0.5":

To find beta Leo Minoris, it's easiest to begin in Leo to the south. Starting at gamma Leonis, place this star at the bottom of your glasses and move three full fields north: binoculars.

Ursa Major is very close by. Place beta LMi at the bottom of your field of vision, amd mu UMa is just visible to the north.

On the other hand, moving slightly more than two binocular fields southeast of beta LMi will also bring you to Ursa Major -- its most southern stars xi and nu. Xi UMa is particularly interesting as a binary and is described in "Ursa Major".


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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.