Rho Leonis

Rho Leonis (ρ Leo) is a binary star in the zodiac constellation of Leo, and, like the prominent nearby star Regulus, it is located near the ecliptic. With an apparent visual magnitude of 3.9, this star can be readily seen with the naked eye at night. Parallax measurements give a distance estimate of about 5,400 light-years (1,700 parsecs) from the Earth.

This is an enormous star with about 21 times the Sun's mass and 37 times the Sun's radius. Its spectrum matches a stellar classification of B1 Iab, with the 'Iab' luminosity class indicating that it is in the supergiant stage of its evolution. Rho Leonis is radiating about 295,000 times the Sun's luminosity at an effective temperature of 24,200 K, giving it the blue-white hue typical of a B-type star. A strong stellar wind is expelling mass from the outer envelope at a rate of 3.5 × 10–7 times the Sun's mass per year, or the equivalent of a solar mass every 2.8 million years. The rotation rate is probably about once per 7 days, with an upper limit of 47 days.

Rho Leonis is classified as a runaway star, which means it has a peculiar velocity of at least 30 km s–1 relative to the surrounding stars. It has radial velocity of 42 km s–1 away from the Sun and a proper motion that is carrying it about 1.56 Astronomical Units per year, equivalent to 7 km s–1, in a transverse direction. The star is situated about 2,300 light-years (710 parsecs) above the galactic plane.

This is a binary star system with a magnitude 4.8 companion at an angular separation of 0.11 arcseconds.