Virgo

Virgo vûr´gō [key] [Lat.,=the virgin], constellation lying on the ecliptic (the sun's apparent path through the heavens) between Libra and Leo, and SW of Boötes it is one of the constellations of the zodiac . Virgo is traditionally depicted as a maiden holding an ear of grain to symbolize the harvest various civilizations identified her with such figures as Ceres, Isis, Ishtar, and Rhea. The most prominent star is Spica (Alpha Virginis), a white star of first magnitude. In 1936 a supernova was discovered in Virgo. A famous cluster of 2,500 galaxies, the Virgo cluster, lies in the constellation the radio galaxy Virgo A is also found there. Virgo reaches its highest point in the evening sky in late May.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.