International Star Registry

All Constellations

Leo Minor - Little Lion

The “Little Lion” was one of Hevelius’ creations, conjured up from unformed stars of the ancients scattered between Leo on the south and Ursa Major on the north.

Leo Minor was described as a lion because the ancients didn’t know what else to name the grouping of small stars so near the great lion. Leo Minor contains 53 stars, including only one of the 3rd magnitude, and only 5 of the 4th magnitude.

Leo Minor remained undescribed for centuries. It is a relatively new constellation, having been added to our celestial maps only since the adoption of Greek notation in 1603. These are referred to by the letters of the English alphabet instead of the Greek.

“The Smaller Lion now succeeds; a cohort Of fifty stars attend his steps; And three, to sigh unarm’d, invisible.”

This is to say that Leo Minor does not conform to the shape of a lion, but rather is simply a small constellation near the Great Lion from which it took its name.
Right Ascension 10:24
Diameter (°)12
Area (square °)232
Opposition Feb 23
Size Rank 64th
Brightness Rank 75th
GenitiveLeonis Minoris