Spica

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Spica

Spica (spīˈkə), brightest star in the constellation Virgo; Bayer designation Alpha Virginis; 1992 position R.A. 13h24.8m, Dec. −11°07′. A bluish-white star of spectral class B1 V, its apparent magnitude averages about 0.96, making it one of the 20 brightest stars in the sky. Because it is an eclipsing binary star, the magnitude ranges from 0.91 to 1.01 as the two components orbit about each other within a four-day period. Spica is at a distance of about 200 light-years. Its name is Latin for “ear of grain,” referring to an ear of grain held by the figure traditionally associated with the constellation Virgo.
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Spica

(spÿ -kă) (α Vir) A conspicuous blue-white star that is the brightest one in the constellation Virgo. It is an eclipsing binary, period 4.014 days, the primary (A) being a Beta Cephei star near to core hydrogen exhaustion. Spica, Denebola, Arcturus, and Cor Caroli form the quadrilateral shape of the Diamond of Virgo. mv : 0.98 (var.); Mv : –3.2; spectral type: B1 V; distance: 67 pc.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Spica

 

(α Virginis), a star of the first visual magnitude. The brightest star in the constellation Virgo, Spica has a luminosity 740 times greater than that of the sun. Spica is approximately 50 parsecs from the sun.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Spica

[′spī·kə]
(astronomy)
A blue-white dwarf star of stellar magnitude 1.0, 160 light-years from the sun, spectral classification B1-V, in the constellation Virgo; the star α Virginis.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.