Virgo is the second largest constellation in the sky. It is at its highest or most visible in May and June. It contains a major cluster of galaxies, among which is M-104 or the Sombrero Galaxy. The brightest quasar in the heavens, 3C 273, is in Virgo and can be seen with a small telescope.
Spica, the largest star in Virgo, sits south of the celestial equator. It can be seen below the handle of Ursa Major and south of the brighter star Arcturus. It can be viewed throughout most of the world, except for the far northern and southern polar regions.
Virgo is the seventh constellation in the zodiac. It is situated east of Leo and northwest of Libra. It sits and midway between Coma Berenices to the north and Corvus to the south.
The constellations Boötes, Coma Berenices, Crater, Hydra, Leo, Corvus, Libra, and Serpens share a border with the Virgo constellation
Right Ascension: 01:19
Diameter (°): 27
Area (square °): 1294
Opposition: Apr 11
Size Rank: 2nd
Brightness Rank: 21st
Major stars in Virgo
Spica – α Virginis (Alpha Virginis)
Zavijava – β Virginis (Beta Virginis)
Porrima – γ Virginis (Gamma Virginis)
Minelauva – δ Virginis (Delta Virginis)
Vindemiatrix – ε Virginis (Epsilon Virginis)
Heze – ζ Virginis (Zeta Virginis)
Zaniah – η Virginis (Eta Virginis)
Syrma – ι Virginis (Iota Virginis)
Rijl al Awwa – μ Virginis (Mu Virginis)
χ Virginis (Chi Virginis)
ν Virginis (Nu Virginis)
Deep Sky Objects in Virgo
Messier 49 (M49, NGC 4472)
Messier 58 (M58, NGC 4579)
Messier 59 (M59, NGC 4621)
Messier 60 (M60, NGC 4649)
Messier 61 (M61, NGC 4303)
Messier 84 (M84, NGC 4374)
Messier 86 (M86, NGC 4406)
Messier 87 (Virgo A, M87, NGC 4486)
Messier 89 (M89, NGC 4552)
Messier 90 (M90, NGC 4569)
Sombrero Galaxy – Messier 104 (M104, NGC 4594)
Eyes Galaxies (NGC 4435 – NGC 4438, Arp 120)
Butterfly Galaxies – NGC 4567 and NGC 4568
Mythology of the Constellation Virgo
In describing the physical state of the world, mythology invented a symbolic language which personified inanimate objects. The priests reduced the whole of their noblest science to fables. The people believed these as true histories representing the moral condition of mankind during the first ages of civilization.
According to the ancient poet Virgil, Virgo (also called the virgin Astraea) was the goddess of justice. She lived on Earth during the golden age in about 3000 B.C. She is also known as Ceres, the goddess of the fields and agriculture in general. She is also identified with Proserpina, Ceres’ daughter.
Virgo is associated with the Greek goddess of the harvest as well as the goddess of justice. She was the human born daughter of Zeus and Themis. This constellation’s brightest star, Spica, represents an ear of wheat. Her grains were weighed in the full moon of Libra, the Scales, which she held in her left hand.
During the golden age, the Earth was peaceful and prosperous, and mankind did not know war or old age. According to his prophesy, Zeus overthrew his father, and the golden age was over. The Earth began to experience new trials, including the changes of season. As Virgil relates, mankind became corrupt, one God after another deserted their beloved haunts.
Virgo was offended by the wickedness and impiety of mankind during the bronze and iron ages. She lingered till the last, but finding Earth steeped in inhumanity she also eventually flew away to the celestial regions. She returned to Heaven and was placed among the constellations of the zodiac. She holds the scales of justice in one hand and in the other, a sword.
Schiller ascribed Virgo to St. James the Less. The Chinese call it She Sang Nue – The frigid maiden. In most Hebrew writings, Virgo is assigned to Gad’s tribe.
Sun Enters: August 23
Sun Leaves: September 22
Positives: Studious, discriminating, meticulous, prejudiced, modest, conventional, tidy, concerned, caring
Negatives: Too hard a worker, overly critical, finicky, a worrier, fussy, abnormally cautious, lacking in vision
As a Child: Picky
Career: Secretary, actuary, inspector