The Constellation Virgo

by Dominic Ford
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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.
Virgo Virgo
The constellation Virgo as it appears to the unaided eye. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.

San Diego



Color scheme

Brightest Objects in Virgo

Hover the pointer over the name of an object to highlight its position on the starchart to the right, or click to see more information.

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Spica (mag 1.1) NGC 5634 (mag 9.5) Messier 49 (mag 8.4)
Porrima (mag 2.7) Messier 104 (mag 8.6)
Vindemiatrix (mag 2.8) Messier 87 (mag 8.6)
ζ-Vir (mag 3.4) Messier 60 (mag 8.8)
δ-Vir (mag 3.4) Messier 86 (mag 8.9)
Zavijava (mag 3.6) NGC 4697 (mag 9.3)
γ-Vir (mag 3.7) NGC 4365 (mag 9.4)
109-Vir (mag 3.7) Messier 90 (mag 9.5)
μ-Vir (mag 3.9) NGC 4699 (mag 9.5)
Zaniah (mag 3.9) Messier 59 (mag 9.6)
ν-Vir (mag 4.0) NGC 4526 (mag 9.6)
Syrma (mag 4.1) NGC 4753 (mag 9.7)
O-Vir (mag 4.1) Messier 84 (mag 9.8)
κ-Vir (mag 4.2) NGC 4535 (mag 9.9)
τ-Vir (mag 4.2) NGC 4216 (mag 9.9)
θ-Vir (mag 4.4) NGC 4636 (mag 10.0)
110-Vir (mag 4.4) NGC 5068 (mag 10.1)
λ-Vir (mag 4.5) Messier 89 (mag 10.1)
π-Vir (mag 4.6) NGC 4429 (mag 10.1)
χ-Vir (mag 4.7) NGC 4762 (mag 10.2)
l-Vir (mag 4.7) NGC 5363 (mag 10.2)
61-Vir (mag 4.7) Messier 58 (mag 10.3)
69-Vir (mag 4.8) NGC 5247 (mag 10.4)
σ-Vir (mag 4.8) NGC 4596 (mag 10.5)
ψ-Vir (mag 4.8) NGC 4754 (mag 10.5)
ξ-Vir (mag 4.8) NGC 4536 (mag 10.5)
φ-Vir (mag 4.8) NGC 4654 (mag 10.5)
ρ-Vir (mag 4.9) NGC 5084 (mag 10.5)
CW Vir (mag 4.9) NGC 4527 (mag 10.5)
ET Vir (mag 5.0) NGC 4664 (mag 10.5)
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