Short Constellation Guide

12 Signs of the Zodiac

Sternbilder Aries Pisces Aquarius Capricorn Sagitarius Scorpio Libra Virgo Leo Cancer Gemini Taurus

The Virgin (Virgo)

The Virgin is the second largest constellation and lies between the Lion (in the west) and the Scales (in the east). She is not easy to find, since most of her stars are weaker than magnitude 3, except for her brightest star, Spica (Alpha Virginis), which has a magnitude of 1. Virgo is also famous for her many hundreds of galaxies.

From mythology – an interesting story that has been told for many centuries

It is not known who exactly the Virgin is supposed to represent. Over the course of history, she has been associated with nearly every famous goddess, for instance with the Babylonian goddess Ishtar or with the Greek goddess of the harvest, Demeter. According to another interpretation, Virgo depicts Astraea, the maiden daughter of Zeus and the goddess Themis. Astraea was the Roman goddess of justice; she was assigned to this constellation because the Scale constellation – the scale of justice - is directly beside her. It was assumed that Astraea ruled the world in her wisdom, until humanity became so vulgar that the Virgin was repulsed and returned to the sky.

Finding the constellation in the sky

Virgo can be best viewed in middle northern latitudes during the month of May. If you look to the south, you can find the constellation by tracing an arc from the handle of the Big Dipper to the orange star Arcturus, and extending it further to reach the bright star Spica. Spica makes up the southern point of a triangle with Arcturus on the left and Regulus on the right side.

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