Regulus, also known as Alpha Leonis, is the brightest star in the constellation Leo and the 21st brightest star in the night sky. It has an apparent magnitude of 1.35 and lies at a distance of 79.3 light years, or 24.3 parsecs, from Earth. Alpha Leonis is not really a single star, but a multiple star system.
The name Regulus means the “little king“ or “prince“ in Latin and the star is also known as Basiliskos, Cor Leonis (Lion’s Heart), Qalb al-Asad and Rex.
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Polaris, also known as the North Star, Alpha Ursae Minoris or Star of Arcady, is the brightest star in Ursa Minor constellation.
Polaris is notable for currently being the closest bright star to the North Celestial Pole. The pole marks true north, which makes the North Star important in navigation, as the star’s elevation above the horizon closely matches the observer’s latitude.
The North Star has a reputation for being bright, but it is not among the top 10 or even the top 40 brightest stars in the night sky. It is only the 48th brightest star, and owes its reputation to the fact that it is the nearest relatively bright (second magnitude) star to the North Celestial Pole.
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The asterism is often confused for the whole constellation, much like the Big Dipper is sometimes confused for Ursa Major, the Great Bear, but it is only the brightest part of the constellation.
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