How to find Leo with Orion as a point of reference?

I had read that the meteor shower should be viewed looking toward Leo.
Been Googling trying to find out how to find Leo, but having trouble.

I’m in Southern California. I can see Orion. With Orion as a reference point, can anyone tell me how to find Leo?


To the southeast of Orion is the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. Northeast of Sirius there’s another bright star, Procyon. Look east and a bit north from Procyon and you’ll see Mars; now look further east and a bit south for Regulus. It’s at the bottom of what appears to be a backwards question mark, which is the “head” of Leo.

Or start from the left (as you see it) shoulder of Orion. To the left are the bright pair Castor and Pollux and the fainter (but still bright) g Geminorum. Keep going left, Cancer has no bright stars, and look out for that backward question-mark. It’s a bit smaller than Orion but still large.

Keep in mind that the Leonids appear to radiate from the constellation Leo, however you will see them all over the sky. I would say the best viewing would be after midnight, looking overhead facing east. Leo will have just risen in the east.

I recommend downloading Stellarium. If you set it to your location, it will show you the location of the constellations and planets at any time you set it to. It’s very easy to use.

It’s a bit late now, but for next year’s meteor shower, let me recommend the following – don’t use Orion – use the Big Dipper. It’s about as easy to find, located near the north celestial pole (the two stars at the end of the Dipper, Dubhe and Merak, after all, point to Polaris, the North Star. It’s about five times their separation away).

Instead of the two stars at the end as pointers, use the two stars at the handle end. And instead of following them in the direction u from the bowl of the dipper, follow them down – they point straight to Regulus, the Heart of the Lion.

Or, as one kid is supposed to have said, if you punch a hole in the bowl of the dipper, the water goes all over Leo.

At the handle end of the bowl, you mean (you know that, the reader may not). If you follow the sweep of the handle round in an arc, you find Arcturus, and eventually Spica IIRC.

Right, follow the arc to Arcturus, and then spike onwards to Spica.