Virgo, is a constellation
also known as the VIRGIN.
[hide][top]How to Find Virgo the Constellation
Southwestward from the bright star Arcturus and about half way from that star to the horizon there is a beautiful 1m (first magnitude) star called Spica. Northwestward and northeastward from it are scattered a number of small stars all belonging to the same Constellation Virgo. This is one of the twelve constellations of the zodiac.
The astronomer should carefully locate the belt round the heavens called the zodiac and learn the twelve constellations in it called the signs of the zodiac. The sun
and all the planets revolve within this belt and never leave it.
[hide][top]Star Lore - Virgo the Myth
Some say that this virgin was Isis, the sister of the Egyptian god Osiris, who was basely murdered by Typhon. Isis is following her brother to the grave weeping bitterly. The Egyptians attributed the yearly inundations of the Nile to the profusion of her tears.
Virgo, lies south and southwest of Bootes
, is a large, straggling constellation, consisting of a Y-shaped configuration of rather inconspicuous stars. It lies in the path of our sun
, moon and planets, and so is one
of the zodiacal constellations. The cross in the diagram indicates the present position of the autumnal equinox, the point where the sun crosses the equator going south, and the position the sun now occupies
at the beginning of fall.
[hide][top]Notable Objects in Virgo
Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, is a bluish-white, first-magnitude star, standing very much alone in the sky. In fact, the Arabs referred to this star as "The Solitary One." The spectroscope shows that it consists of two suns very close together, revolving about a common center in a period of only four days.
Within the branches of the "Y" in Virgo, and just to the north of it, is the wonderful nebulous region of this constellation, but it takes a large aperture telescope
to show the faint spiral nebulae that exist here in great
profusion. All of these spirals are receding from the plane of the Milky Way
with enormous velocities. The spiral nebulae are, in fact, one of the most rapidly moving objects in the heavens.