“Then Speed On To Spica”

Further extend the curve of the Big Dipper’s handle past Arcturus and you will come to the first magnitude star, Spica in the constellation Virgo.  Thus, the complete saying is “Follow the arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica”  Since Spica is the brightest star in Virgo, its official scientific


Figure 14: Find Arcturus, Spica and their associated constellations using the Big Dipper.  

designation is Alpha Virginis.  Notice the different spelling of the constellation in the star’s name.  In star names the spelling of the constellation part is not always exactly the same as the normal constellation name.   Following is a table showing the normal name of each constellation, the form it takes in a star’s name, and an English translation of the name.


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