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  • Epsilon Virginis is the Bayer designation for a star in the zodiac constellation of Virgo. It has the traditional name Vindemiatrix, which comes from Greek through Latin and means Grape Gatherer. The apparent visual magnitude of this star is +2.8, making it the third brightest member of Virgo. Based upon parallax measurements made during the Hipparcos mission, Vindemiatrix lies at a distance of about 109.6 light-years from Earth, give or take a half light year. Vindemiatrix is a giant star with a stellar classification of G8 III. With 2.6 times the mass of the Sun, it has reached a stage in its evolution where the hydrogen fuel in its core is exhausted. As a result, it has expanded to over ten times the Sun's girth and is now radiating around 77 times as much luminosity as the Sun. This energy is being emitted from its outer atmosphere at an effective temperature of 5,086 K, which gives it the yellow-hued glow of a G-type star. Since 1943, the spectrum of this star has served as one of the stable anchor points by which other stars are classified. This star is following an orbit through the Milky Way with an eccentricity of 0.11.

Freebase Commons Astronomy /astronomy