Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2012 January 10
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Bright Star Regulus near the Leo I Dwarf Galaxy
Credit & Copyright: Chris Cook (

Explanation: The star near the top is so bright that it is sometimes hard to notice the galaxy toward the bottom. Pictured above, both the star, Regulus, and the galaxy, Leo I, can be found within one degree of each other toward the constellation of the Lion (Leo). Regulus is part of a multiple star system, with a close companion double star visible to the lower left of the young main sequence star. Leo I is a dwarf spheroidal galaxy in the Local Group of galaxies dominated by our Milky Way Galaxy and M31. Leo I is thought to be the most distant of the several known small satellite galaxies orbiting our Milky Way Galaxy. Regulus is located about 75 light years away, in contrast to Leo 1 which is located about 800,000 light years away.

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Tomorrow's picture: Little Planet Lovejoy

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