Great Diamond

Diamond of Virgo

Asterism of the spring sky (Northern Hemisphere)

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Map of the Great Diamond

A pattern of four prominent stars in four separate constellations that form a recognisable diamond shape during spring nights in the northern hemisphere. At the base of the Great Diamond is Spica, the brighest of Virgo's stars, and so this asterism is sometimes known as the 'Diamond of Virgo'. The other three corners of the Diamond are formed by Arcturus in Boötes, Denebola at the tail of Leo and, most northerly of the four, Cor Caroli in Canes Venatici.

The four sides of the Diamond surround and almost completely enclose Coma Berenices. Between that constellation and Virgo to the south lies a rich field of galaxies known as the Virgo Cluster. The heart of the Great Diamond therefore offers a view 'upward' from the plane of our own Galaxy's disc, out towards this populous cluster of galaxies some fifty million light years from the Milky Way.

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