This photo shows the constellation Virgo enlarged in true color. These are the main “naked eye” stars that make up the shape of the constellation.
1. Image of: The virgin
2. Right ascension: 13h
3. Declination: 0 degrees
4. Genitive: Virginis
5. Latitudes visible at: Between +80 degrees and -80 degrees
6. Time best visible: At 21:00 in May
7. Area of sky covered: 1294 square degrees
8. Rank in constellation size: 2nd
9. Stars: Alpha Virginis (Spica), Beta Virginis (Zavijava), Gamma Virginis (Porrima), Epsilon Virginis (Vindemiatrix), Delta Virginis (Auva), Eta Virginis (Zaniah), Zeta Virginis (Heze), Iota Virginis (Syrma) and Mu Virginis (Rijl al Awwa)
10. Other objects in the constellation: M49, M58, M59, M60, M61, M84, M86, M87, M89, M90, M104 (Sombrero galaxy)
11. Brightest star: Alpha Virginis (Spica, with an apparent magnitude of 1.0)
12. Nearest star: Ross 128 (10.29 light years away)
13: Meteor showers: Virginids (peaking around mid April)
14. Mythology: In Greek mythology, one of the popular interpretations is that Virgo symbolizes Demeter. She is associated with the arrival of spring. Hades, the underworld God, had abducted and married Persephone, the daughter of Demeter.
15. Position in the Zodiac: Sixth
16. Traits associated with Virgo in astrology: precise, practical, responsible, conservative, polite.
Photo above right: The symbol for Virgo (Image credit: Tlust’a at Wikimedia Commons, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Virgo.svg, public domain.)
Photo mid right: Mythological image of Virgo. (Image credit: Fulkanelli at Wikimedia Commons under a GNU Free Documentation license, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Virgo2.jpg)
Photo below right: A constellation map of Virgo (Image credit: Torsten Bronger at Wikimedia Commons, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Virgo_constellation_map.png, GNU Free Documentation license.)
More Amazing Facts
1. First point of Libra: The first point of Libra, also known as the autumnal equinox, is now in the constellation of Virgo due to the precession of the Earth’s rotation axis. The Earth’s axis processes at about 50 seconds of arc per year.
2. Extrasolar planets: The star 70 Virginis is known to have a planet of mass around 7.5 times that of Jupiter. Discovered in 1996, it was one of the first extrasolar planet to be discovered.
3. Sombrero: One of the most beautiful galaxies to watch in the sky resides in Virgo (see image on right): the Sombrero galaxy. It is edge on to our line of sight and thus appears like a sombrero hat (hence the name). It is also included in the Messier catalogue (M104).
Photo: HST picture of the Sombrero galaxy (Image Credit: Bricktop at Wikimedia Commons, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:M104_ngc4594_sombrero_galaxy_hi-res.jpg)
- absoluteastronomy.com: http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Virgo_(astrology)