In Latin, Libra means "weighing scales." Even long before Roman times, Sumerian sky watchers named this constellation "Zib-ba An-na," or "the balance of heaven." Arab astronomers called the Libra constellation "Zubana," which can mean either "weighing scales" or "scorpion."Know More
The constellation of Libra lies directly west of the constellation of Scorpius, and because of this, some ancient astronomers mistakenly translated Libra as "the claw's of a scorpion." Scholars explain this dual meaning by noting that in ancient times, weighing scales resembled a scorpion hung upside down. In Greek mythology, Libra was depicted as the scales of justice, held by the goddess Astraea, who was represented by the nearby constellation Virgo. Chinese astronomers called the Libra constellation "Tien Ching," meaning "the celestial balance."
The stars in Libra have Arabic names. Most of these reflect Libra's proximity to the constellation Scorpius. For example, Zubeneschamali means the scorpion's northern claw; Zubenelgenubi refers to the scorpion's southern claw; and Zubenelakrab means the scorpion's shears.
The sun moves through Libra from September 23 to October 22. This time period immediately follows the autumnal equinox, when day and night length are balanced at 12 hours each. Also noteworthy is that Libra influenced the abbreviation "lbs" to stand for pounds in the English language.Learn More
The Libra constellation is defined by its brightest stars Alpha Librae (α Lib or Zubenelgenubi), Beta Librae (β Lib or Zubeneschamali ), and Gamma Librae (γ Lib or Zubenelakrab). It also plays host to other double, binary, and variable stars.Full Answer >
The name of the brightest star during sunset in California is Sirius. Known as the "Dog Star," it is located in the constellation Canis Major and resides beneath the constellation Orion.Full Answer >
The scientific name for the avocado is Persea americana, which means "alligator pear" in Latin. The name suggests that its roots lie in the Americas, or more specifically, Southern Mexico and Central America. Evidence suggests that avocados were cultivated as early as 6000 B.C. in Oaxaca, Mexico.Full Answer >
While Capella appears to be a single star, it is actually a group of four stars that make up the sixth-brightest object in the night sky. The two stars that make up the brightest part of Capella have a surface temperature comparable to the Sun, about 4,900 degrees Kelvin.Full Answer >