LEPUS (lē´-pus)—THE HARE. (Face South.)
Location.—Lepus crouches under Orion’s feet. Four stars in the constellation form an irregular and conspicuous quadrilateral.
γ is a beautiful double of a greenish hue.
Four or five degrees south of Rigel are four faint stars which are in the ear of the hare. They can be seen on a clear night with the naked eye.
The curved line of three stars θ, η, and ζ, are in the back of the hare.
Lepus is about 18° west of Canis Major, and, by reason of the earth’s motion, the Great Dog seems to be pursuing the Hare around the heavens.
The first-magnitude stars that are visible in the winter season in this latitude present a fine contrast in color. Even the untrained eye can see a decided difference between the bluish white color of the brilliant Sirius, the Dog star that the Belt stars point south to, and Rigel, and the ruddy Betelgeuze. Procyon has a yellowish tinge and resembles the condition of our sun, while Betelgeuze is surrounded by heavy metallic vapors and is thought to be approaching extinction.
R marks the location of “Hind’s crimson star,” a famous variable.