Virgo - Downloadable article
If the chill of winter puts you on observing hiatus, now is the time to dust off that telescope and point it skyward. A profusion of galaxies in Virgo awaits.
March 3, 2009
|This downloadable article is from an Astronomy magazine 45-article series called "Celestial Portraits." The collection highlights all 88 constellations in the sky and explains how to observe each constellation's deep-sky targets. The articles feature star charts, stunning pictures, and constellation mythology. We've put together 11 digital packages. Each one contains four Celestial Portraits articles for you to purchase and download.|
"Virgo" is one of four articles included in Celestial Portraits Package 1.
The warm nights of May offer prime conditions for galaxy hunting. The winter Milky Way is being swallowed by the glare of the sun, while the summer's star clouds in Cygnus and Sagittarius are still hours from rising. It's on these evenings that we find ourselves standing in the plane of our galaxy with nowhere to direct our gaze but outward. At the center of this view, we find the constellation Virgo.
Virgo is a sprawling prominent constellation. It's second in size to Hydra and spans more than 1294 square degrees. Its brightest star is silver-blue Spica, a spectroscopic binary with an absolute magnitude of -3.7 — that translates into a luminosity of nearly 1,740 suns. To read the complete article, purchase and download Celestial Portraits Package 1.
|Deep-sky objects in Virgo|
NGC 4216, M61 (NGC 4303), M84 (NGC 4374), M86 (NGC 4406), M49 (NGC 4472), M87 (NGC 4486), NGC 4517, NGC 4535, NGC 4536, M89 (NGC 4552), NGC 4567, M90 (NGC 4569), M58 (NGC 4579), M104 (NGC 4594), Gamma Vir, M59 (NGC 4621), M60 (NGC 4649), NGC 4762, IC 972 (Abell 37)