ο Virginis

Omicron Virginis, binoculars, marks the western boundary of the field of galaxies. Only M49 (6º east of omicron) and M61 (6º southeast of omicron) are in this region—see below for M61.

East of omicron about 2.5º is the binary Struve 1616, a multiple system with the companions forming a straight line with the primary:
     AB: 7.6, 9.7; 296º, 23.3".
     AC: 7.6, 10.2; 296º, 167.9".


Move one binocular field southeast from omicron to find M61.

M61 is an open-faced galaxy that requires a telescope even to find; quite impressive however even in smaller telescopes. In the same field are other distant galaxies that are worth while exploring.

Just to the north about a degree, nearly centred in your field of vision, is 17 Virginis (Struve 1636), a fine double: 6.5, 9.3; 337º, 20.9".

Just to the northeast of this binocular field is M49, very bright (8.4m) with a yellowish glow and easily seen (but not resolved) in binoculars. It's one of the most massive eliptical galaxies known.


With the naked eye, one can trace the asterism from omicron southwest to nu, then south to beta, and east through eta and gamma.

Click on nu Virginis to continue.

All files associated with The Constellations Web Page are
© 1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.