Lepus


Lepus


English nameHare

Major
stars
alpha LeporisArnebmagn. 2,7RA: 05h 32m 43.80sDec: -17 49' 20.2"
beta LeporisNihalmagn. 3,0RA: 05h 28m 14.73sDec: -20 45' 34.1"
epsilon Leporismagn. 3,3RA: 05h 05m 27.64sDec: -22 22' 15.4"
my Leporismagn. 3,3RA: 05h 12m 55.86sDec: -16 12' 19.9"

DescriptionNot very wide constellation, situated to the south of Orion, beside Canis Maior.

Among the interesting stars there are R Leporis, near the border with Eridanus, a dark red variable star which oscillates from the sixth to the tenth magnitude with a period of about 430 days; and eta Leporis, a double composed by a yellow star and an orange star.

M79The constellation contains NGC 2017, a small open cluster constituted by seven stars and M79 (reproduced on the left), a very compact globular cluster of eighth magnitude.


Mythology
and history
Hyginus tells that once the Laro island was deprived of hares, until some inhabitants began breeding some specimens. Soon, however, the island was invaded by hundreds of these very prolific animals, which brought heavy damages to the farmings: the inhabitants of Laro, therefore, made every effort until they succeeded in eliminating all the hares from their island. And to remember for ever that even a good thing, if excessive, can cause damage, they drew a hare in the sky.


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