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Constellation in Focus: Virgo
Constellation in Focus: Virgo

Virgo Constellation
Don?t let the scale of the diagram above fool you. Representing the goddess of justice, Virgo is the second largest constellation in the sky.

Spica, a first magnitude blue-white star, is easy to spot, shining as it does in a fairly dark part of the sky.

M49 and M60 are elliptical galaxies. Being one of the brightest ellipticals, M49 was the first member of the Virgo-Supercluster to be discovered by Charles Messier. M60 is some 60,000,000 lightyears distant and is as luminous as 60 billion copies of our sun.

Most of the galaxies in Virgo are part of the Virgo-Supercluster. Not so M104. At about 50,000 lightyears, this galaxy?s dark dust lane and close to edge-on angle (just 6) makes it look a little like a sombrero.

M61 is a lovely face-on spiral galaxy while NGC 5746 is an edge-on spiral galaxy that?s best observed in small scopes.

Finally, Porrima is a fine doule-star worthy of a peek.

June 2006

Details
Date Taken: 04/13/2011
Author: Sean O'Dwyer

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