The Virgo Constellation 
Herald Of Spring

The Virgo constellation rises to the heavens in May, during late Spring. Bringing with her warmth, extra light and rains helping crops grow and flourish. The goddess Demeter is truly happy to have her child back.

Known as Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, she was taken by Hades Lord of the Underworld down to Tartarus. Demeter was distraught over the loss of her child and wouldn't allow seeds to germinate and grow.

This meant no crops. Without crops the people and their animals would starve.

Zeus intervened and decided that Persephone would spend time between both worlds.

Persephone descends into the underworld from mid-December, bringing cold, dark, winter days until her return mid-March.

Also known as Astraea the goddess of justice. In this role she carries the scales of justice represented by the Libra constellation.

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Largest Zodiac Constellation

Lying between Leo to the west and Libra to the east...Virgo is the largest zodiac constellation and the second largest overall after Hydra.

Surrounded by the constellations Bootes, Coma Berenices. Crater, Corvus, Hydra, and Serpens Caput.

Due to precession, The first point of Libra, which marks the autumnal equinox, is now in Virgo.

Right Ascension: 13 hours

Declination: 0 degrees

Visible between latitudes +80 and -80 degrees

Best seen in May at 9:00 PM local time

Named Virgo Stars:

Spica(Alpha Virginis), Zavijava(Beta Virginis), Porrima(Gamma Virginis), Auva(Delta Virginis), Vindemiatrix(Epsilon Virginis), Heze(Zeta Virginis), Riji al Awwa(Mu Virginis), Zaniah(Eta Virginis), Syrma(Iota Virginis).

Blossoms For The Stargazer

Virgo's brightest star is Spica. A blue-white star representing a sheaf of wheat that the maiden carries, about twice the size of our sun.

Although designated as the Beta star Zavijava is actually the 5th or 6th brightest star in Virgo.

Porrima-Gamma Virginis, is a double star and the combined apparent magnitude is 2.74.

Zavijava and the main star in the pair (Porrima) are about the same apparent magnitude.

Of course Delta, Epsilon, and Zeta are all slighter brighter than the Beta star.

Because of the presence of a galaxy cluster-the Virgo cluster, within its borders this constellation is especially rich in galaxies.

There are many viewable galaxies in the Virgo constellation M49, M58, M59, M60, M61, M84, M86, M87, M89, M90 and the Sombrero Hat galaxy(M104).

M70 an extrasolar planetary system has a known planet about 7.5 times the mass of Jupiter.

Virgo is also home to the quasar 3C273. The first quasar ever to be identified. With a magnitude of ~12.9 it is also the optically brightest quasar in the sky .

› Virgo
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