The Constellation Libra

Libra constellation lies in the southern sky. It is one of the 12 zodiac constellations. Its name means “the weighing scales” in Latin, and it is usually depicted as the scales held by the Greek goddess of justice Dike (or Astraea), represented by the neighbouring Virgo constellation.

Libra is the only zodiac constellation that represents an object, not an animal or a character from mythology. The four brightest stars in the constellation form a quadrangle. Alpha and Beta Librae mark the scales’ balance beam, and Gamma and Sigma Librae represent the weighing pans. Libra constellation is also home to HD 140283, popularly known as Methuselah, currently the oldest known star in the universe.

Libra constellation is represented by the symbol ♎. It was first catalogued by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. Libra does not contain any first magnitude stars.


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Libra is the 29th constellation in size, occupying an area of 538 square degrees.

It lies in the third quadrant of the southern hemisphere (SQ3) and can be seen at latitudes between +65° and -90°.

The neighboring constellations are Centaurus, Hydra, Lupus, Ophiuchus, Scorpius, Serpens Caput and Virgo.

Libra contains three stars with known planets and does not have any Messier objects.

The brightest star in the constellation is Zubeneschamali, Beta Librae, with an apparent visual magnitude of 2.61.

There is one meteor shower associated with the constellation, the May Librids.

Libra belongs to the Zodiac family of constellations, along with Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius and Pisces.


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October 5, 2015 Andromeda – Galaxy or Constellation?

Andromeda – Galaxy or Constellation?

It’s both! Both the Constellation and the Galaxy are named for the Wife of Perseus, Andromeda. Both the Galaxy and the Constellation can be seen in the Northern Sky.  The Andromedids meteor shower (also known as the Bielids) in mid-November appears to originate from this constellation. As we discussed in the last to posts Andromeda Galaxy is now visible in the Northern Sky near the Constellation Pegasus and just the star Schedar. The Galaxy Andromeda contains three Messier objects – Messier 31 (Andromeda Galaxy), Messier 32 and Messier 110 – and has seven stars with known planets.

Andromeda is an Autumn Northern Sky Constellation.