zodiac constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere
Libra (pronounced /ˈliːbrə/, Latin: weighing scale, symbol , Unicode ♎) is a constellation of the zodiac. It lies between Virgo to the west and Scorpius to the east. It once represented the claws of Scorpius.
|Area||538 sq. deg. (29th)|
|Main stars||4, 6|
|Stars with planets||3|
|Stars brighter than 3.00m||2|
|Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly)||2|
|Brightest star||Zubeneschamali (β Lib) (2.6m)|
|Meteor showers||May Librids|
|Visible at latitudes between +65° and −90°.|
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of June.
The brightest stars in Libra form a rectangle:
- α Librae, Zubenelgenubi ("southern claw"), a visual binary;
- β Librae, Zubeneschamali ("northern claw");
- γ Librae, Zubenelakrab ("scorpion's claw");
- σ Librae, Brachium an eclipsing variable.
α and β Librae are the scales' balance beam, and γ and σ are the weighing pans.
σ Librae was formerly known as γ Scorpii even though it is well inside the boundaries of Libra. It was not renamed as σ Librae until 1851 (by Benjamin A. Gould).