ν Virginis

Nu Virginis depicts the Maiden's head, and while many of the other stars of the constellation carry proper names, this star seems not to have been called anything in antiquity.

Nu Virginis is a bright red giant with a visual magnitude of 4.04; it's ten degrees south-southeast of omicron Virginis: binoculars, or 7 due south of beta Leonis (Denebola).

Between pi and nu, below 6 Virginis is NGC 3976, a solitary barred spiral galaxy, 11.5 apparent magnitude, seen partially edge-on, quite lovely with blueish arms extending from a golden nucleus. Medium to large telescopes should bring out these details.

A little over one binocular field east and you are back at gamma Virginis.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.