See Algieba’s companion
Difficulty level: Beginner to Intermediate
Even if the Moon is up, or a little light pollution blights your viewing site, observing multiple star systems can be a fun way to challenge your stargazing skills, notwithstanding the fact that many are striking sights in the eyepiece. The spring skies contain a fine double star in the form of Algieba (Gamma
(a) Leonis) in Leo. To find it, first identify the famous backwards question mark that forms the head and mane of Leo, with Regulus (Alpha (_) Leonis) at its base. From Regulus follow the question mark up to where it begins to ‘curve’ east at Eta (d) Leonis. Algieba is then the next bright star on the curve. Through a medium aperture telescope with around 150x magnification you should be able to clearly see its fainter companion. Observers have noted a yellowish tint to both stars. The illustration to the right is based on a sketch made with an 8-inch telescope.
Algieba’s two stars are only 17 times the Earth-Sun distance apart, separated by 4 arcseconds on the sky