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Play ball!

It's the season for diamonds.
RELATED TOPICS: STARS
ChapleGlenn
It’s April, and that means another baseball season is underway. To celebrate, let’s take a field trip to a pair of diamonds. No, we won’t be running the base paths at Wrigley Field or Yankee Stadium. Our diamonds are of the cosmic variety, and both lie in the constellation Virgo.

The first is a huge naked-eye asterism (a recognized star pattern that’s not a constellation) first suggested by astronomy popularizer (and Curious George author) Hans A. Rey. In his 1952 book The Stars: A New Way to See Them, Rey introduced readers to the “Virgin’s Diamond.” He created this four-sided figure out of the stars Arcturus (Alpha [α] Boötis) as the eastern point, Spica (Alpha Virginis) as the southern point, Denebola (Beta [β] Leonis) to the west, and Cor Caroli (Alpha Canum Venat-icorum) to the north. Like the Summer Triangle, autumn’s Great Square, and the Winter Hexagon, the Virgin’s Diamond (more commonly known as the Virgo Diamond or the Great Diamond) is a convenient guidepost to identify the constellations of spring.

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