The bright star indicated here is Spica, the fifteenth brightest star in the night star.
Virgo Constellation Facts
- Virgo is the second largest constellation and is visible in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
- In the Northern hemisphere Virgo can be seen from March to July.
- In the Southern hemisphere the constellation can be viewed in the Autumn and Winter months, it will appear upside down in comparison with the Northern hemisphere.
- The constellation of Virgo is highly populated with galaxies, there are several galaxy clusters located within its boundaries, each of which is home to hundreds or even thousands of galaxies.
- One galaxy in Virgo which is not part of a galaxy cluster is the famous and spectacular Sombrero Galaxy, one of the brightest known galaxies and visible through an amateur telescope or binoculars.
- Many planets have been discovered orbiting stars in the constellation, including an enormous gas giant with over 10 times the mass of Jupiter.
- Virgo is also one of the twelve signs of the astrological zodiac.
- Virgo has been recognized as a constellation for at least 3,000 years.
An artistic representation of Virgo, although it is uncertain who she actually represents.
Main Stars in the Virgo Constellation
The number next to each star is its apparent magnitude, its brightness from our point of view on Earth, the lower the number the brighter the star in the night sky.
Also know as Beta Virginis, Zavijah is a yellow-white main sequence star around 35 light years from Earth, it has around 25% more mass than the sun and is almost 70% larger in radius. Zaniah
Also known as Eta Virginis, Zaniah is a three star system around 265 light years from Earth, the primary star has a mass 2.5 times greater than that of the sun with surface temperatures more than 50% hotter. Porrima
Also known as Alpha Virginis, Porrima appears as single star in the night sky but is actually a binary system 38 light years from Earth, together both stars produce an apparent magnitude of 2.74, making Porrima the second brightest star in the constellation. Auva
Also known as Delta Virginis, Auva is a red giant around 200 light years from Earth, it has 50% more mass than the sun but is almost 50 times larger in diameter. Vindemiatrix
Also known as Epsilon Virginis, Vindemiatrix is a yellow giant around 110 light years from Earth, it has two and a half times the mass of the sun and 10 times larger in radius. Heze
Also known as Zeta Virginis, Heze is a binary star system consisting of a blue-white main sequence star and a red dwarf companion, the primary blue-white star has twice the mass and twice the radius of the sun, the system is around 75 light years from Earth. Spica
Also known as Alpha Virginis, Spica is by far the brightest star in the constellation and one of the brightest in the entire night sky. Spica is actually a binary star system around 260 light years from Earth consisting of two fairly massive stars. The primary star has 10 times the mass of the sun which is massive enough to generate a supernova at the end of its lifespan. This star is a blue giant with around 7.5 times the radius of the sun and is 12,000 times more luminous. The secondary star is a blue main sequence star with around 7 times the mass of the sun.
Finding Virgo - Northern Hemisphere
Finding Virgo - Southern Hemisphere
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