Ecliptic Stars

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Name some bright stars that lie very near to the ecliptic in the constellations Leo, Virgo, and Sagittarius.

In the constellation Virgo: "Speed on to Spica!" As explained in Starstruck Tonight:

Spica is the brightest star of the constellation Virgo the Maiden. Although Virgo is the second largest constellation in the sky, the rest of its stars are faint. However, if you see a bright star nearby, don't be surprised: it will be a visiting planet as it wanders around the sky. Virgo was long ago recognized for its importance, since it contains the Sun on the day of the Autumn Equinox. Spica lies nearly on the path the Sun follows across the sky, which is called the ecliptic. You won't see this constellation in the early autumn, for then Virgo lies in the daytime sky.

In the constellation Sagittarius: Check your planisphere or star chart and you'll notice that the top of the teapot's lid lies nearly on the ecliptic.

In the constellation Leo, as explained in Starstruck Tonight:

Let's return to the bowl of the Big Dipper. A line running through the two stars nearest the handle points almost directly to two other notable stars. Follow them below the bowl of the Dipper to Regulus, the heart of Leo the Lion. Leo's mane looks like a backward question mark. Regulus, the "dot" at the bottom of the mark, lies nearly on the ecliptic.

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