continued from Starlit Sky: 16. Corvus and Bootis constellation

The next constellation we will look at is Libra, the balance.

Locate Spica of Virgo. Moving in a south-easternly direction you will reach a fairly bright star together with a few closely placed stars which are not so bright, but put together they form a sort of a quadrilateral. They look like a pair of scales in the sky. That is the Libra constellation.

libra2libra 3

Libra is the only constellation which is inanimate in the 12 constellation of the zodiac signs. The Sun spends 30 days with each of these constellations. Libra is the constellation that is situated at the equinox. The dates that Sun spends here are in Sept-Oct. During this time, the days and nights are of equal duration. So in a sense, Libra keeps a balance between the days and nights.

The alpha Librae or Zubenelgenubi is called Visakha star in the Indian Astronomical System. It is one of the 27 nakshatras. The Libra itself is called Tula Raasi. Tula means scales.

The alpha and beta (Zubeneschamali) stars are considered to be the balance beams of the scales and the fainter gamma and iota stars are the pans.

to be continued……