Constellation Lepus (Hare)
Lepus is located south of Orion, making it easy to find. It stands out in the night sky, especially in winter. The area is 290 square degrees and the center culminates around midnight on December 13th. [9, 15]
|β Lep||Nihal, Nibal|
Deep-Sky Object Descriptions
Mythology and History
Lepus is a constellation that was already known to the ancient Greeks. It represents a hare that has cheekily laid down at the feet of the sky hunter Orion. A hare is associated with the moon in many legends: some see the familiar figure of the "man in the moon" as a hare or a rabbit. The hare was the symbol of speed, which was attributed to the Greek god of trade, Hermes. Perhaps Lepus is also another representation of this moon hare. In ancient Egypt, Lepus was Osiris's boat. The god Osiris was identified with the constellation Orion. [7, 21]
The Romans simply called the constellation Lepus, often adding Lepus auritus (The long-eared hare), Lepus levipes (The light-footed hare) and Lepus velox (The agile hare). The Arabs have adopted the classic image of the hare; one finds the names Alarnebet and Elarnebet.