Libra


Libra


English nameScales

Major
stars
alpha LibraeZubenelgenubimagn. 2,9RA: 14h 50m 52.73sDec: -16 02' 30.2"
beta LibraeZubeneschamalimagn. 2,7RA: 15h 17m 00.44sDec: -09 22' 58.5"
sigma Libraemagn. 3,4RA: 15h 04m 04.23sDec: -25 16' 55.0"

DescriptionConstellation of the zodiac, through which the Sun transits during the month of November. It is between Virgo and Scorpius.

Libra contains many double stars. The brightest are alpha Librae, easily separable with simple binoculars, iota Librae, a multiple system constituted by at least four components, and my Librae, observable with modest telescopes.

Remarkable is NGC 5897, a very little compact globular cluster of tenth magnitude.


Mythology
and history
The Greeks identified the stars of Libra with the near Scorpius' nippers: the Arabs too followed this representation and they called the two brightest stars Zubenelgenubi (that is "southern nipper") and Zubeneschamali ("northern nipper"). The constellation of Libra was actually drawn in the first century before Christ by the Romans, who considered it as symbol of their city: symbol of balance and justice, of order and peace.


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