Virgo Constellation Myths and Facts

Virgo: The Virgin

Pronunciation: VER-go
Virgo, The Virgin
Virgo as depicted by Johann Bayer in his Uranometria (1603). Source image provided by — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.
Virgo Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Vir Genitive: Virginis
Origin: Ancient Location: Celestial Equator
Best View (North): Spring Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Bootes, Coma Berenices, Leo, Crater, Corvus, Hydra, Libra, Serpens Caput

The Myth Behind the Constellation Virgo

Virgo, “The Virgin”, is one of three constellations that represents a woman (Andromeda and Cassiopeia are the other).  And to the Greeks this woman was Demeter, the goddess of the harvest, holding wheat in her hand.  The Romans saw her as Astraea, the goddess of justice, holding the scales Libra.

Virgo Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting Objects in the Constellation Virgo
Name Messier NGC Type Visibility
M49 NGC 4472 Elliptical Galaxy Small Scope
M58 NGC 4579 Barred-Spiral Galaxy Small Scope
M59 NGC 4621 Elliptical Galaxy Small Scope
M60 NGC 4649 Elliptical Galaxy Small Scope
M61 NGC 4303 Spiral Galaxy Small Scope
M84 NGC 4374 Lenticular Galaxy Small Scope
M86 NGC 4406 Lenticular Galaxy Small Scope
Virgo A M87 NGC 4486 Elliptical Galaxy Small Scope
M89 NGC 4552 Elliptical Galaxy Small Scope
M90 NGC 4569 Spiral Galaxy Small Scope
Sombrero Galaxy M104 NGC 4594 Spiral Galaxy Binoculars

Bright Stars in Virgo

These are the stars in Virgo with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.
Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Spica Alpha Virginis 0.96  Blue 14,779 suns 263 ly
Porrima Gamma Virginis 2.74  White 4 suns 39 ly
Vindemiatrix Epsilon Virginis 2.84  White 87 suns 102 ly