The Libra Star Constellation, And Everything About Its Composition
The Constellation Libra is one of the first constellations catalogued by Ptolemy in the 2nd Century CE. The Libra star constellation has been depicted as the scales held by the Greek Goddess of Justice, Dike also called Astraea. The Scorpius and Virgo Constellation are the neighbours of the Libra star constellation.
Representation and Meaning of Libra Star Sign Constellation
The Libra star constellation is the only constellation that represents an object and not the animal or character based on mythology. Therefore it is also called “the weighing scale”. Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Sigma are the four bright stars that form a Quadrangle, where Alpha Librae and Beta Librae represent the Scale’s beam and Gamma and Sigma Librae represent the two weighing pans. Centaurus, Hydra, Lupus, Ophiuchus, Scorpius, Serpens Caput, and Virgo are the neighbouring stars to the Libra constellation. The Libra Zodiac constellation belongs to the 12 Zodiac constellations namely Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.
The stars in the Libra Zodiac Sign Constellation
There are four major stars in the Libra constellation are Bruchium (Sigma Librae), Zubenelgenubi (Alpha Librae), Zubenelhkrabi (Gamma Librae), and Zubeneschamali (Beta Librae) as approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The Zubeneschamali, also known as the Beta Librae, is the brightest star in the Libra star constellation. So let us find out a little more about these stars.
The Libra constellation lies between Virgo to the West and Scorpio to the East. There are many stars in the Libra Star Constellation but let us give you a brief about the major stars in the constellation.
- Beta Librae, also known as “Zubeneschamali” is also known as the Libra brightest star. It is approximately 185 light-years away from the solar system and is said to be a very fast spinner. It has 4.9 times solar radius and is 130 times more luminous than the Sun. The name ”Zubeneschamali” has been derived from the Arabic phrase “Al Zuban Al Samaliyya”, which means “the northern claw”.
- Alpha Librae, also known as “Zubenelgenubi”, is the second brightest star in the Libra constellation. This is a multiple star system and it has two of the brightest components forming a binary star system. The two main components are named Alpha-1 Librae and Alpha 2 Librae. The Alpha -1 Librae is 75.9 light-years from the Earth and Alpha-2 Librae is 75.8 light-years from the Sun. The name “Zubenelgenubi” has derived from the Arabic phrase “Zuban Al Janubiyy” which means “the Southern claw”.
- The Sigma Librae, also known as “Brachium” is a huge red star that is approximately 288 light-years away from the Sun. Its name is “Brachium” which means “arm” in Latin. It is also called “Cornu”, which is the Latin word for “horn” and Zubenalgubi which means “the Southern Claw” in Arabic. The Sigma Librae was first known to be part of the Scorpius constellation and in the 19th century, it started being associated with the Libra constellation as Sigma Librae.
- Methuselah is one of the oldest stars and consists of hydrogen and helium. It is believed to be 14.406 billion years old, while the universe itself is believed to be 13.77 billion years old.
- Gamma Librae or Zubenelakrab is a huge orange star that is 152 light-years distant from the solar system. The star is 71 times more luminous than the Sun. The name Zubenelakrab is derived from the Arabic phrase “Zuban Al Akrab” which means the “shears of the scorpion”.
- Upsilon Librae is a giant orange star. It is a multiple star system and 195 light-years away from the Sun. Tau Librae is another giant orange blue-white dwarf star and is 445 light-years away from the Sun.
The Myth Behind The Libra Star Constellation
As per Babylonian astronomy, Libra was known as “Zib.ba.an.na”, which means scales or balance or the claws of the scorpion. The scales were set to be held by the sacred God Shamash, the God of justice. God Shamash was the son of Sin and held the supreme power of light, which is why he became the God of Justice. He was the judge of both Men and Gods, and it is said that the Babylonian king was given the code of laws by Shamash. The Libra also represents the seasons on earth, the day and the night. The ancient Greeks viewed Libra as “the claws of the Scorpius”, while to the Romans, Libra represents the scales of justice which is being held by Goddess Astraea. They have also included the two claws of the Scorpion constellation into the arms of Libra.
The Libra Constellation Location
The Libra star constellation is the 29th constellation in size, and it occupies a space of 538 square degrees. The Constellation can be located at the latitude between +65 and -90 and lies in the third quarter of the southern hemisphere.
The Libra Star Constellation lies between Scorpius and Virgo at the right ascension 15 hours 30 minutes and south declination 15 degrees.
The Libra star constellation can be seen from May to June in the southeastern sky from 10 pm which then disappears into the south-western horizon at 5 am. It can also be seen in July in the Southern night sky at 10 pm. The Constellation then disappears below in the south-western horizon after 3 hours. In September the Libra star constellation can be seen high in the western night sky around 8 pm and then be seen disappearing below the western horizon around 12 am.
We hope this article has helped you with all the details about the Libra star Constellation and the four major stars. If you too wish to experience the beauty of this constellation, the best time to look for it is at 9.p.m. in July. You will be amazed by the wonderful image of the mesmerising Libra star constellation and since you know the mythical story about the past and all about its major stars we are pretty sure it will be a pleasurable experience for you and that you would embrace its beauty to a deeper level.