Spica (Alpha Virginis) is a blue-white giant star located around 260 light years away in the constellation of Virgo. This 1st magnitude star is the 15th brightest in the entire night sky, and derives its name from the Latin phrase meaning “ear of grain” or “ear of wheat.” Below are some more quick facts about the star Spica:
Spica is actually a binary system whose primary star is around 10 times the mass of our Sun, with its companion star of about 7 solar masses. The primary component is a blue main sequence star that is about midway through the transition from being a sub-giant to becoming a true giant star with sufficient mass to go supernova when it ends its life. Being a Beta Cephei-type variable, the primary star’s luminosity varies slightly over a period of 0.1738 days.
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