Virgo

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Virgo (the virgin) is a constellation of the zodiac. Who exactly Virgo is supposed to represent is uncertain. According to one version, the constellation depicts Astraea, the virgin daughter of the god Zeus and the goddess Themis. Astraea was known as the goddess of justice, hence the scales of justice Libra nearby, and supposedly ruled the world at one point with her wise ways until mankind became so callous that she returned to skies in disgust. Persephone is often mentioned as well, Virgo being visible mainly in the spring months when she was believed to have risen from the underworld.

Virgo lies between Leo to the west and the Libra to the east. The brightest stars are Spica (α Vir), Zavijah (β Vir), Porrima (γ Vir), Auva (δ Vir) and Vindemiatrix (ε Vir). Other fainter stars which were also given a name are Heze (ζ Vir), Zaniah (η Vir), Syrma (ι Vir) and Rijl al Awwa (μ Vir).

Because of the presence of a galaxy cluster within its borders, this constellation is especially rich in galaxies. Some examples are M49 (elliptical), M58 (spiral), M59 (elliptical), M60 (elliptical), M61 (spiral), M84 (elliptical), M86 (elliptical), M87 (elliptical and a famous radiosource), M90 (spiral), M104 (elliptical, also called the Sombrero Galaxy).

Astrology

In some cosmologies, Virgo is associated with the classical element Earth, and thus called an Earth Sign (with Taurus and Capricorn). Its polar opposite is Pisces.


Zodiac signs : Aries -- Taurus -- Gemini -- Cancer -- Leo -- Virgo -- Libra -- Scorpio -- Sagittarius -- Capricorn -- Aquarius -- Pisces