Online Encyclopedia

VIRGO (" the Virgin ")

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V28, Page 127 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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VIRGO (" the Virgin "), in astronomy, the sixth sign of the zodiac (q.v.), denoted by the symbol l[p. It is also a constellation mentioned by Eudoxus (4th century B.C.) and Aratus (3rd century B.C.); Ptolemy catalogued 32 stars, Tycho Brahe 33, Hevelius 50. The Greeks represented this constellation as a virgin, but different fables are current as to the identity of the maid. She is variously considered to be: Justitia, daughter of Astraeus and Ancora, who lived before man sinned, and taught him his duty, and when the golden age ended she returned to heaven; according to Hesiod the virgin is the daughter of Jupiter and Themis; others make her to be Erigone, daughter of Icarius, or Parthene, daughter of Apollo. The most interesting stars of this constellation are: a Virginis, or Spica, a star of the first magnitude with a very faint companion; and ti Virginis, a binary star, having components of the third magnitude.
End of Article: VIRGO (" the Virgin ")

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