THE REALM OF GHOSTS
Will Gater dives into the region of Virgo, one of the most extraordinary swathes of the night sky, to reveal the science behind the faint galaxies that reside there
Explore the extraordinary science of the faint galaxies that lie deep within Virgo.
Cast your eye across the band of sky between the star Spica and the handle of The Plough on a clear spring night and what do you see? Save for few stars there doesn’t appear to be much to write home about – at least not to the naked eye.
Yet this great swathe of the celestial sphere is arguably one of the most extraordinary patches of our night sky as it’s peppered with hundreds of galaxies. Virgo is swarming with faintly glowing celestial forms; there are delicate spiral wisps, fuzzy ellipticals and even great clusters of galaxies gathering in their multitudes. And though they may be hidden to the naked eye, these spectral, stellar gatherings are of enormous interest to astrophysicists. So come with us as we explore the science of some of the more famous inhabitants of Virgo’s ghostly galactic realm. ABOUT THE WRITER Will Gater is an astronomy journalist, author and presenter. Follow him on Twitter at @willgater or visit willgater.com
Hidden from view above the southwest horizon, in-between Spica (left) and the Plough (right), lies a region of space filled with astronomical marvels