Rev 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven;
a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of
The astronomer, Professor Thorley, has shown that there
are exactly twelve stars surrounding the head of Virgo as we view them from the earth. If
one will look at Norton's Star Atlas, twelve visible stars will be seen around Virgo's
head. They are, according to astronomical terminology: (1) Pi, (2) Nu, (3) Beta, (4)
Sigma, (5) Chi, (6) Iota - these six stars form the southern hemisphere around the head of
Virgo. Then there are (7) Theta, (8) Star 60, (9) Delta, (10) Star 93, (11) Beta, (12)
Omicron - these last six form the northern hemisphere around the head of Virgo.
[Coma Berenices is positioned to the side of Virgo and is
one of the decans (each constellation has 3 additional parts or decans) of that sign.
Although technically not above her head, it is interesting for other reasons as stated
Although a faint constellation of the northern hemisphere
it is quite interesting. A part of the Virgo-Cluster of galaxies swaps over to Coma
Berenices. So often this galaxy cluster is called Virgo-Coma-Cluster. Coma Berenices is
sandwiched between the Hunting Dogs, Canes Venatici to the north, Virgo to the south, Leo
on the west border and Bootes on the east border. The galactic northpole is located in
Stars and other objects
The leading star of this constellation, alpha Com, also
known as Diadem, is a binary which cannot be split into its components by amateur
[Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary:
1binary: something made of two things or parts
2binary: 3b: involving a choice or condition of two alternatives (as
diadem: 1. crown; specif: a royal headband; 2.
regal power or dignity]
The loose collection of stars below gamma Com is known as
the Coma Star Cluster. These about 30 stars form a triangular shaped group and are best
observed with binoculars. The brightest members are about 5th mag. In small telescopes M
53 appears as a misty patch. One of the most famous of the galaxies in this constellation
is the Black Eye Galaxy, M64. It got its name from the dark patch of dust near its center.
...the constellation is relatively new, being introduced
by Tycho Brahe (1546-1601).
Alpha Comae, sometimes called Diadem, has the same
diameter as our Sun, and is 62 light years away...
Alpha Comae is a rapid binary of two equal stars (5.05,
5.08). The companion orbits every 25.87 years and is presently decreasing; in 2000 the
separation will be less than 0.05". The orbit is an unusual one, seen perfectly
The Coma Star Cluster [within Coma Berenice] is best seen
in binoculars. It extends south of gamma Com (which belongs to the cluster) and was once
known as the tuft of hair at the end of Leo's tail. This is the group of stars that now
constitutes Berenice's golden tresses.
The region from Coma Berenices down through Virgo is
renowned for its galaxies...
galaxy: 1b: one of billions of systems each
including stars, nebulae, star clusters, globular clusters, and interstellar
matter that make up the universe; 2: an assemblage of brilliant or notable
persons or things.]
The Constellations Web Page
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