The Constellation Virgo

by Dominic Ford
Virgo Virgo
The constellation Virgo. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.

Virgo is the second largest of all the constellations, lying on the celestial equator. It appears highest in the evening sky in the months around April.

It is one of the twelve zodiacal constellations, and the Sun passes through it each year between mid-September and the end of October. This includes the moment when the Sun passes southward across the equator at the September equinox.

In Greek mythology, Virgo is often identified as Dike, goddess of justice, who was the daughter of Zeus and Themis. She is often depicted holding the scales of justice, represented by the neighboring constellation Libra.

Together with neighboring Coma Berenices, Virgo is home to the brightest cluster of galaxies in the sky, the Virgo Cluster, which comprises well over 1,000 galaxies. Among these are eleven galaxies with Messier designations. The Virgo Cluster forms the core of an even larger structure, the Virgo Supercluster, of which the Local Group of galaxies, including the Milky Way, is an outlying member.

Date First Appeared
Sky Area
3.1% of the sky
1294.4 square degrees
Messier Objects
Virgo contains the following Messier objects: M49, M58, M59, M60, M61, M84, M86, M87, M89, M90, M104.
Caldwell Objects
Virgo contains the following Caldwell object: C52.
The following constellations neighbor Virgo: Bootes, Coma Berenices, Corvus, Crater, Hydra, Leo, Libra, Serpens Caput.
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Brightest Objects in Virgo

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
HD (mag 0.0) IC 3859 (mag 0.0) NGC 5634 (mag 10.1) IC 3414 (mag 0.0)
Spica (mag 1.1) NGC 4520 (mag 0.0)
Porrima (mag 2.7) NGC 4829 (mag 0.0)
Vindemiatrix (mag 2.8) NGC 5226 (mag 0.0)
ζ-Vir (mag 3.4) IC 2969 (mag 0.0)
δ-Vir (mag 3.4) IC 3155 (mag 0.0)
Zavijava (mag 3.6) IC 3672 (mag 0.0)
γ-Vir (mag 3.7) IC 3710 (mag 0.0)
109-Vir (mag 3.7) NGC 4975 (mag 0.0)
μ-Vir (mag 3.9) NGC 5369 (mag 0.0)
Zaniah (mag 3.9) IC 863 (mag 0.0)
ν-Vir (mag 4.0) NGC 4176 (mag 0.0)
Syrma (mag 4.1) IC 3474 (mag 0.0)
O-Vir (mag 4.1) IC 3720 (mag 0.0)
κ-Vir (mag 4.2) NGC 4847 (mag 0.0)
τ-Vir (mag 4.2) NGC 4918 (mag 0.0)
θ-Vir (mag 4.4) NGC 5110 (mag 0.0)
110-Vir (mag 4.4) NGC 5148 (mag 0.0)
λ-Vir (mag 4.5) IC 900 (mag 0.0)
π-Vir (mag 4.6) IC 1067 (mag 0.0)
χ-Vir (mag 4.7) NGC 5097 (mag 0.0)
l-Vir (mag 4.7) IC 804 (mag 0.0)
61-Vir (mag 4.7) IC 3468 (mag 0.0)
69-Vir (mag 4.8) NGC 5036 (mag 0.0)
σ-Vir (mag 4.8) NGC 3776 (mag 0.0)




Color scheme