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Constellation Guide

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Observational Astronomy Series
  1. Tips for Getting Started in Astronomy
  2. Dark Eye Adaption - How We See In the Dark
  3. Light Pollution
  4. Using Star Charts and Measuring Distance
  5. Constellation Guide
  6. Binocular Astronomy
  7. Moon Watching - How to Observe the Moon
  8. Buying Your First Telescope
  9. Your First Night With Your First Telescope
  10. Sky Orientation through a Telescope
  11. Polar Alignment of an Equatorial Telescope Mount
  12. Useful Astronomy Filters for Astrophotography

Constellation guide to the 88 official constellations which divide up the sky. These constellations are used to help navigate the celestial sphere. The Constellations are patterns in the sky which have been to invented and have deep mythology behind them. Constellations cover massive areas in the sky and as such are very easy to find.

Virgo

The Maiden

Virgo is a constellation of the zodiac. Lying between Leo to the west and the Libra to the east, it is one of the largest constellations in the sky. It can be easily found through its brightest star, Spica.

Constellation Guide Virgo

The most prominent star in Virgo is Spica (a Vir), which was sometimes considered to represent an ear of wheat in Virgo's hand. Spica makes it easy to locate Virgo, as it can be found by following the curve of the Big Dipper to Arcturus in Bo÷tes and continuing from there in the same curve ("follow the arc to Arcturus and speed on to Spica")

Virgo Mythology

Who exactly Virgo was considered to represent is uncertain; in history, it has been associated with nearly every prominent goddess, including Ishtar, Isis, Cybele, Mary, Mother of Jesus, and Athena.

Notable Objects in Virgo

Virgo is home to many spectacular Messier objects, including M49 (elliptical galaxy), M58 (spiral galaxy), M59 (elliptical), M60 (elliptical), M61 (spiral), M84 (lenticular galaxy), M86 (lenticular), M87 (elliptical and a famous radio source), M89 (elliptical) and M90 (spiral).

Another galaxy that is not part of the cluster is the Sombrero Galaxy (M104), an unusual spiral galaxy.

NGC 4639 is a face-on barred spiral galaxy which contains a high number of Cepheid variables.

Virgo is also home to the quasar 3C 273 which was the first quasar ever to be identified.

Photos of Virgo

I have no photos of Virgo yet.

Constellations

Northern Circumpolar Constellations

These constellations can be viewed all year round in the Northern hemisphere as they move in a counterclockwise direction around the north celestial pole without setting or dipping below the horizon.

Northern Spring Constellations

These Northern constellations are best viewed around the spring months. The rest of the year the constellation will not rise during the night.

Northern Summer Constellations

These Northern constellations are best viewed around the summer months. The rest of the year the constellation will not rise during the night.

Northern Autumn Constellations

These Northern constellations are best viewed around the autumn months. The rest of the year the constellation will not rise during the night.

Northern Winter Constellations

These Northern constellations are best viewed around the winter months. The rest of the year the constellation will not rise during the night.

Last updated on: Wednesday 24th January 2018

 

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