The Washington Double Star (WDS) catalog lists three distant, possibly optical companions for Denebola (WDS 11492+1434 B, C, and D), located from 40 to 240 arcseconds from the primary with V magnitude differences of to 13 ( Worley and Douglass, 1997 ; . Burnham, 1878 ; and G. Knott, 1864 ). On the other, the Hipparcos Space Astrometry Mission (1989-93) failed to detect significant astrometic motion resulting from a major close companion as small as Solar-mass between 11 AUs (one arcsecond) and AU of the star ( Akeson et al, 2009 ). Further analysis by Akeson et al (2009) on a puzzling reduction in mid-range infrared excess "visibility" failed to rule out the possibility of an unseen stellar companion (as bright as M0 red dwarf) in a wide orbit with a period measured in years or a very close orbit companion with a period measured in as short as a few days.
Although it is not entirely clear how the constellation Leo became known to the ancient Egyptians, one enchanting piece of star lore goes as follows. The ancient Egyptians worshiped Leo because they knew the Sun entered the constellation during the Flooding of the Nile, which brought significant amounts of water and fertile soil onto the land. Food security in Egypt depended on this annual natural cycle, a circumstance that also coincided with the arrival of desert lions at the river. Although the lions moved toward the river to avoid the heat and lack of water in the desert at that time, a connection was made by the Egyptians, who honored the lion with festivals, and even today many statues of lions can be found along the course of the Nile River, proof of the reverence with which the ancient Egyptians regarded the desert lions.