VIRGO (ver´-g?)—THE VIRGIN. (Face West.)
Location.—An imaginary line drawn from Antares in Scorpius through ? Libræ and prolonged a little over 20° strikes Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, which star is about 30° southwest of Arcturus.
Arcturus, Cor Caroli, Denebola, and Spica form a figure about 50° in length, called the Diamond of Virgo.
The equator, ecliptic, and equinoctial colure intersect each other at a point close to the star ?. This is called the autumnal equinox.
The star ? is known as the “Grape Gatherer.” It is observed to rise just before the sun at vintage time.
Within the rude square formed by Denebola, and ?, ?, and ?, Virginis, the telescope reveals many wonderful nebulæ; hence this region of the sky has been called “The Field of the Nebula.”
Spica is an extremely beautiful pure white star. It rises a very little south of the exact eastern point on the horizon.
? is a fine double star for a small telescope.
Virgo is mentioned by the astronomers of all ages. By the Egyptians it was intended to represent the goddess Isis, and the Greeks knew it as Ceres. Spica represents the ear of corn held in the Virgin’s left hand.