June 12, 2024

Map showing Virgo constellation

The moon moves in a nice conjunction with the star Spica this weekend. The chart shows the view looking south-southwest from London on 16 June at 22.00 BST.

On this evening, the moon will be almost 10 days old with about 75% of its visible surface illuminated. Since the ratio is greater than 50%, this puts it in a waxing moon that is full in the next few days.

At 22:00 BST in Northern Europe the sky will not yet be completely dark, so this provides a good opportunity to watch the stars that outline the shape of Virgo come out one by one as dusk gathers and into the night change.

In order of brightness, the main stars in Virgo are: Spica, Porrima, Vindemiatrix, Heze, Minelauva, nv (which although in the constellation boundary is not part of the asterism), 109 Virginis and Rijl al Awwa.

Virgo is the second largest constellation in the night sky, and is flanked to the west by Leo and to the east by Libra.

From the southern hemisphere, the conjunction will also be easily visible. From Sydney, Australia, for example, it will appear high in the evening sky.

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