Spica (α Virginis)
The brightest star in the constellation → Virgo, and the 15th brightest star in the night sky. Also known as HD 116658. It is 260 → light-years distant from Earth. A → blue giant, it is a variable → eclipsing binary, with a period of 4.014 days. Both components are → B-type stars, the → primary being a → Beta Cephei variable near to core hydrogen exhaustion (→ spectral type B1 III-IV) and the → secondary a → main sequence star (B2 V). See, e.g., R.S. Schnerr et al., 2010, arXiv:1008.4260.
From L. spica "ear of grain," related to spina "thorn," corresponding to Gk. stakhys "grapes."
Sonbolé, from sonbol "an ear of corn; a hyacinth," from Ar. sumbul.