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Libra, The Scales Constellation

Libra (Pronounciation:Lib-rah, Abbrev:Lib, Latin:Librae) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Libra takes up 538.052 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 1.3% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Scales . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

Libra is a member constellation of the Zodiac grouping, a group of 12 star signs that astrologers use to predict someones future based on their date of birth and which constellation appeared when the Sun set. The Zodiac year may be divided up equally between the twelve signs but when they appear in the night sky no longer conforms to the Zodiac calendar. Libra is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.

The brightest star in Libra is Zubeneschamali. There are 12 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Libra. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Libra Star List Page.

Libra Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Libra is 1316. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 49. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 5.

There are no deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.

Stars of Interest

The nearest star to Earth is Gliese 570 which is roughly about 19.05 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is Gliese 570 which is about 19.05 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 76117 which is located about 326163.3 Light Years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.

The dimmest star that can be seen in Libra with the naked eye is 47 Librae. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.95. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan

The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.

Not associated with any particular legend or mythology of the Greeks.

Items of Interest

One of the most intriguing stars in the cosmos can be found in this constellation. That star is Zubeneschamali, the brightest star in the constellation although it only has the Beta designation. The star according to some people is Green but others discount the possibility that such a star can be green. Colours are normally Red, Orange, Yellow, White, Blue and including variations of those colours. Have a look and see what you think. If it is green then its the most unique star so far.

Oldest Star in the Milky Way

Libra has some of the oldest stars in the the milky way, one of the leading candidates for the title is Methuselah Star which had been calculated as being older than the universe itself. However, it can't be older than the actual universe so it is probably created just after the birth of the galaxy. It had been theorized that the star is from another galaxy that was consumed by out galaxy. Ref: Space.

There are no major meteor showers that radiate from within this constellation.

Libra Facts


NameLibra
AbbreviationLib
Is a Zodiac Sign Yes
Brightest StarZubeneschamali
Area538.052 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky1.3%
Size Position29th
Hemisphere Equatorial
Site Exoplanet Count12
Meteor Shower Count8
Nearest StarGliese 570
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)Gliese 570
Dimmest Star47 Librae
Furthest StarHIP 76117
Bright Star Count49
Hipparcos Star Count1316
Main Star Count5
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsVirgo
Hydra
Centaurus
Lupus
Scorpius
Ophiuchus
Serpens

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.


Libra Constellation Map


Libra Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.



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