Libra the Scales


The ancient Hebrews saw this group of stars as a balance. The romans gave it the name of Libra and said it was the balance of Aestraea, the goddess of justice. The Greeks stole some of Libra's stars and used them as the claws of the scorpion, Scorpius.

For the Observer

The Stars of Spring

Alpha Librae , Zuben El Genubi (14h48m.1 -15°50') has a magnitude of 2.7 and is a class A3 star that shows strong metallic lines in its spectrum. The star is about 65 light years distant. The star has both a spectroscopic companion and a visual one. The visual companion has a magnitude of 5.8.

Beta Librae, Zuben Eschamali (15h14m.3 -09°12') has a magnitude of 2.6 and is a class B8 star about 140 light years distant. The star is reputed to appear slightly greenish in color.

Delta Librae (14h58m.3 -08°19') is a bright eclipsing variable similar to Algol. It has a range in magnitude of 4.8 to 5.9. The primary star is a class A0 and the companion is probably a G class star.

Iota Librae (15h09m.4 -19°36') has a magnitude of 4.6 and is a class A0 star about 250 light years distant. The spectrum shows strong silicon lines. The star is a close visual binary with the companion having a magnitude of 5.8.

Copyright © 1995 - 2003
Kathy Miles, Author, and Chuck Peters, Systems Administrator