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Proper NameNone
Bayer Designationl Virginis
Flamsteed Number74 Virginis
HR (BSC)5095
Right Ascension13h 31m 58s
Declination-6° 15' 21"
Distance400 light years
123 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +4.7
Absolute: -0.8
Spectral ClassM2.5III red giant
Optimum VisibilityApril / May
NotesThis distant red giant lies in the eastern central regions of Virgo, with the bright star Spica close by to the south. Though a faint fifth magnitude as seen from Earth, it has nearly 170 times the luminosity of the Sun, and is approximately seventy times the Sun's diameter.

A red star in Virgo lying to the north, and slightly to the east, of the bright blue star Spica. Seen from Earth, l Virginis shines at fifth magnitude, making it faint, but visible to the naked eye under suitable conditions. It falls within a few degrees of the Ecliptic, making it subject to occultation by the Moon (the term used for times when the Moon's disc temporarily obscures a background star.)

Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

This is a red giant star in the later stages of its evolution, having expanded to more than seventy times the Sun's diameter (though it far less dense than a main sequence star like the Sun). l Virginis emits hundreds of times more energy than the Sun, but is nonetheless considerably cooler, giving rise to its reddish colouration. Based on its parallax data, the star lies almost exactly four hundred light years from the Solar System. It has no known companion stars or planets.

This star's Bayer designation uses a lowercase 'L', as opposed to an uppercase 'I' (there is little risk of confusion here, because there is no star designated 'I Virginis' with an uppercase 'I'). l Virginis is not to be confused with 1 (one) Virginis (also known as Omega Virginis) which is another red giant lying far to the westward, nor with i Virginis, yet another red giant star southward from l Virginis beyond Spica in the sky.


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