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Virgo Constellation

Virgo (Pronounciation:Vir-go, Abbrev:Vir) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Virgo takes up 1294.428 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 3.14% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Virgin . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

Virgo is a member constellation of the Zodiac grouping, a group of 12 star signs that astrologers use to predict someones future based on their date of birth and which constellation appeared when the Sun set. The Zodiac year may be divided up equally between the twelve signs but when they appear in the night sky no longer conforms to the Zodiac calendar. Virgo is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator. The brightest star in Virgo is Spica. There are 23 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) detailed on this site.

Legend of the Constellation

It is believed the constellation represents Astraea, the virgin daughter of the god Zeus and the goddess Themis. She was a goddess of truth and justice because the scales were nearby. She ruled the world at one time but as man grew callous, she returned to the skies as a constellation.

Meteor Showers

There are 34 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The ones listed as the ones I've been able to find a date range for. For others if you have the time, you can visit the AMU site, obtains the SL value then use IMO tables to calculate the date. A lot of the Meteor Showers are weak and you need to do a lot of stargazing to spot them.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Pi VirginidsFebruary 13-April 8Mar. 3-9Pi Virginis
Eta VirginidsFebruary 24-March 27Mar. 18/19Zaniah
Theta VirginidsMarch 10-April 21Mar. 20/21Caphir
Alpha VirginidsMarch 10-May 6Apr. 7-18Spica
Gamma VirginidsApril 5-21Apr. 14/15Porrima
Mu Virginids1-Apr - 12-May24 - AprRijl al Awwa

Virgo Constellation Map

Virgo Constellation Star Map

List of Named Stars in Virgo

StarDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Alaraph35.55+01 d 45 ` 55.411h 50m 41.29
Auva202.46+03 d 23 ` 51.412h 55m 36.48
Caphir414.97-05 d 32 ` 20.113h 09m 57.01
Heze73.21-00 d 35 ` 45.413h 34m 41.75
Khambalia186.7-13 d 22 ` 16.214h 19m 06.60
Porrima38.59-01 d 26 ` 58.312h 41m 40.00
Rijl al Awwa60.92-05 d 39 ` 26.714h 43m 03.56
Spica262.19-11 d 09 ` 40.513h 25m 11.60
Syrma69.78-05 d 59 ` 58.314h 16m 00.88
Vindemiatrix102.25+10 d 57 ` 32.813h 02m 10.76
Zaniah249.74-00 d 40 ` 00.312h 19m 54.39

Objects of Interest (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Virgo

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
IC1101 GalaxyElliptical Galaxy1.04 Billion +05:44:4115h 10m 56m 1s
M49 Elliptical GalaxyElliptical Galaxy53.600-58.200+08:0012h 29m 8
M58 Spiral GalaxySpiral Galaxy~63.000+11:4912h 37m 0
M59 Elliptical GalaxyElliptical Galaxy55.000-65.000+11:3912h 42m 0
M60 Elliptical GalaxyElliptical Galaxy51.000-59.000+11:3312h 43m 7
M61 Spiral GalaxySpiral Galaxy50.2-54.6+04:2812h 21m 9
M84 Lenticular (S0) GalaxyLenticular (S0) Galaxy57.000-63.000+12:5312h 25m 1
M86 Lenticular (S0) GalaxyLenticular (S0) Galaxy28.000-34.000+12:5712h 26m 2
M87 Elliptical GalaxyElliptical Galaxy51.870-55.130+12:2412h 30m 8
M89 Elliptical GalaxyElliptical Galaxy47.000-53.000+12:3312h 35m 7
M90 Spiral GalaxySpiral Galaxy55.900-61.500+13:1012h 36m 8
Sombrero GalaxySpiral Galaxy28.700-30.900-11:3712h 40m 0

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