Constellation Libra (Scales)

Libra
Libra: IAU Constellation Map [150]

Properties

Libra is a small, less conspicuous ecliptic constellation and lies west of the prominent star formation around Antares. One can easily imagine the outstretched claws of the beautiful summer constellation Scorpio in the stars. With a little more imagination you can also recognize a beam balance. The area of the constellation is 538 square degrees and the center culminates around midnight on May 9th. [9, 15]

Stars with Proper Names:

  • α2 Librae: Zuben Elgenubi, Zubenelgenubi, Kiffa Australis, Elkhiffa Australis
  • β Librae: Zuben Elschemali, Zuben Eschamali, Zuben El Chamali, Zubenesch, Zubenelg, Kiffa Borealis
  • γ Librae: Zuben Elakrab, Zuben Hakraki, Zuben El Hakrabi
  • δ Librae: Zuben Elakribi
  • σ Librae: Brachium, Cornu, Zuben El Genubi, Zuban Al Akrab, Zuben Hakrabi
Data for constellation Libra [150]
IAU NameLibra
IAU GenitiveLibrae
IAU Abbr.Lib
English NameScales
Season (47° N)March … June
Right Ascension14h 21m 39s … 16h 02m 18s
Declination-29° 59' 42" … -0° 28' 28"
Area538 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Ser, Vir, Hya, Cen, Lup, Sco, Oph

Mythology and History

Scorpius + Libra
Scorpius + Libra: Complete Scorpius constellation before Caesar, when Scorpio still had claws [265]

The ancient Greeks still counted the area where the constellation Libra is today to Scorpius and saw Scorpio's claws here. This is where the Arabic star names come from. During Julius Caesar's lifetime, the Romans separated into this area and formed the independent constellation and zodiac sign Libra. This happened in honor of Julius Caesar because of his contribution to the reform of the Roman calendar and his proverbial justice. The scales are seen as a symbol of justice and are held up by Astraea, the goddess of law. A legend connects Astraea with the neighboring constellation Virgo. [7, 21, 59]

Catalogs

Yale Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed. (Hoffleit+, 1991) [154]
HR B F RA [hms] Dec [dms] vMag spType dMag Sep ["]
5383214 23 25.6-11 42 516.21 G7III
5484414 43 13.6-24 59 515.73 B9 v
5503514 45 57.8-15 27 356.33 K1III 4.73.1
5523μ714 49 19.1-14 08 565.31 A1pSrCrEu 0.91.8
5530α1814 50 41.2-15 59 505.15 F4IV 0.40.0
5531α2914 50 52.7-16 02 302.75 A3IV 0.40.0
55351114 51 01.0-02 17 574.94 G8III-IV
55481214 54 20.1-24 38 325.30 K2III
5554ξ11314 54 22.9-11 53 545.80 G7III
5564ξ21514 56 46.1-11 24 355.46 K4III
55701614 57 11.0-04 20 474.49 F0V
55781714 58 13.4-11 09 186.60 A1V
55821814 58 53.6-11 08 395.87 K3-IIICN1 3.819.7
5586δ1915 00 58.4-08 31 084.92 B9.5V 6.4106.3
5603σ2015 04 04.2-25 16 553.29 M3-III e
5622ν2115 06 37.6-16 15 255.20 K5-III
5652ι12415 12 13.3-19 47 304.54 A0pSi v0.60.1
5656ι22515 13 19.2-19 38 516.08 A3Vn
56572315 13 28.7-25 18 336.45 G4V
56622615 14 33.7-17 46 076.17 B9.5III
5685β2715 17 00.4-09 22 592.61 B8V
57012815 20 53.7-18 09 316.17 G8III
5703ο2915 21 01.4-15 32 546.30 F0III 2.244.4
5723ε3115 24 11.9-10 19 204.94 F5IV
5743ζ13215 28 15.4-16 42 595.64 K5III
5750ζ33415 30 40.4-16 36 345.82 gG6
5764ζ43515 32 55.2-16 51 105.50 B2Vn 2.00.0
57753615 34 37.3-28 02 495.15 K4III
57773715 34 10.7-10 03 524.62 K1III-IV
5787γ3815 35 31.6-14 47 223.91 G8.5III 0.20.1
5794υ3915 37 01.5-28 08 063.58 K3III e7.03.5
5812τ4015 38 39.4-29 46 403.66 B2.5V
58144115 38 54.5-19 18 075.38 G8III v
58244215 40 16.9-23 49 054.96 K3IIICN1
5838κ4315 41 56.8-19 40 444.74 M0-IIIb 5.0172.0
5848η4415 44 04.4-15 40 225.41 F0IV
5902λ4515 53 20.1-20 10 025.03 B2.5V 2.00.0
5908θ4615 53 49.5-16 43 464.15 G8.5IIIb
59154715 55 00.3-19 22 595.94 B5V 2.00.7
59414815 58 11.4-14 16 464.88 B5IIIp t
59544916 00 19.6-16 32 005.47 F8V 5.6155.1
59595016 00 47.6-08 24 415.55 A0V s

«Revised New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue», Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke, 2021 [277]
NameRADecTypeBmagVmagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification
NGC 5595 14 24 13.3-16 43 21Gx (SBc)12.612.02.40 × 1.3F, pL, R, vgbM, p of 2MCG -3-37-1, VV 446, VV 530, IRAS 14214-1629
NGC 5597 14 24 27.4-16 45 48Gx (SBcd)12.612.02.10 × 1.9vF, L, vlE, vglbM, f of 2MCG -3-37-2, VV 446, IRAS 14216-1632
NGC 5605 14 25 07.5-13 09 49Gx (SBc)12.912.31.50 × 1.3vF, pL, R, vgbMMCG -2-37-3, IRAS 14223-1256
NGC 5663 14 33 56.2-16 34 50Gx (E-S0)15.214.21.40 × 1.3eF, vS, R, glbMMCG -3-37-3, NPM1G -16.0459
NGC 5664 14 33 43.7-14 37 10Gx (Sa)14.513.60.80 × 0.3pF, S, E, gbMIC 4455, MCG -2-37-8, IRAS 14309-1424
NGC 5716 14 41 05.5-17 28 36Gx (SBc)13.312.61.90 × 1.3vF, pL, RMCG -3-37-4, IRAS 14383-1715
NGC 5726 14 42 55.8-18 26 39Gx (E-S0)13.712.71.30 × 1.0F, S, R, gbM, * 10.5 np 3'ESO 580-12, MCG -3-37-6
NGC 5728 14 42 24.0-17 15 08Gx (Sab)12.311.43.20 × 1.9pF, pL, pmE 45° ±, mbM, * 10 sMCG -3-37-5, IRAS 14396-1702
NGC 5729 14 42 06.9-09 00 35Gx (Sb)13.012.22.60 × 0.7F, pL, E, rMCG -1-37-12, IRAS 14394-0847
NGC 5734 14 45 09.1-20 52 13Gx (S0)13.612.61.50 × 1.0vF, S, lE, glbMESO 580-16, MCG -3-38-3, IRAS 14423-2039
NGC 5741 14 45 51.6-11 54 49Gx (E0)14.613.61.10 × 1.1vF, vS, R, sbMNMCG -2-38-8, NPM1G -11.0410
NGC 5742 14 45 36.8-11 48 35Gx (SB0)14.013.01.30 × 0.5F, pS, pmE, gbMNMCG -2-38-7, IRAS 14428-1135
NGC 5743 14 45 10.9-20 54 47Gx (Sb)13.712.91.40 × 0.5F, S, mE, smbMNESO 580-17, MCG -3-38-4, IRAS 14423-2042
NGC 5744 14 46 38.4-18 30 48Gx (Sab)14.313.51.00 × 0.7eF, vS, neb?ESO 580-23, MCG -3-38-7, IRAS 14438-1818
NGC 5745 114 45 01.8-13 56 48Gx (Sa)14.313.41.70 × 1.2vF, S, E, pslbMMCG -2-38-4, VV 98, NPM1G -13.0456, IRAS 14423-1344
NGC 5745 214 45 01.1-13 56 56Gx (C)15.514.50.30 × 0.3vF, S, E, pslbMMCG -2-38-4, VV 98
NGC 5745 314 44 57.1-13 57 54Gx (C)16.515.50.20 × 0.2vF, S, E, pslbMVV 98
NGC 5756 14 47 33.7-14 51 12Gx (SBbc)13.112.32.80 × 1.3pB, pL, pmE, gpmbMMCG -2-38-12, IRAS 14448-1438
NGC 5757 14 47 46.3-19 04 40Gx (SBb)12.711.92.10 × 1.7vF, S, iR, lbMESO 580-33, MCG -3-38-14, IRAS 14449-1852
NGC 5761 14 49 08.2-20 22 32Gx (S0)13.412.41.40 × 1.3vF, S, R, glbMNESO 580-39, MCG -3-38-18
NGC 5766 14 53 09.5-21 23 36Gx (SBbc)14.113.31.10 × 0.7eF, pS, R, gbMESO 580-50, MCG -3-38-24, IRAS 14503-2111
NGC 5768 14 52 07.9-02 31 49Gx (Sc)13.212.51.80 × 1.4F, R, bMFN, S * sUGC 9564, MCG 0-38-9, CGCG 20-26, KARA 652, IRAS 14495-0219
NGC 5781 14 56 41.1-17 14 39Gx (SBb)13.813.01.40 × 0.8F, S, R, bM, * 16 spMCG -3-38-28, IRAS 14539-1702
NGC 5791 14 58 46.0-19 16 01Gx (E6)12.711.72.50 × 1.3pF, S, R, stellarESO 581-7, MCG -3-38-35
NGC 5792 14 58 22.6-01 05 25Gx (SBb)12.111.36.80 × 1.7pB, pL, R, mbM, * 8·9 np 1'UGC 9631, MCG 0-38-12, CGCG 20-38, IRAS 14557-0053
NGC 5793 14 59 24.7-16 41 36Gx (Sb)14.313.21.70 × 0.6eF, pS, E, bMNMCG -3-38-38, IRAS 14566-1629
NGC 5796 14 59 24.0-16 37 25Gx (E3)12.711.62.50 × 1.8F, pS * in centreMCG -3-38-39
NGC 5801 15 00 25.9-13 54 13Gx (Sb)15.514.70.70 × 0.5vF, vS, sbM, 1st of 3NPM1G -13.0467
NGC 5802 15 00 29.9-13 55 06Gx (S0)15.214.20.90 × 0.5vF, vS, sbM, 2nd and brightestNPM1G -13.0469
NGC 5803 15 00 34.4-13 53 38Gx (E-S0)15.814.80.60 × 0.5vF, vS, sbM, 3rd of 3NPM1G -13.0470
NGC 5809 15 00 52.2-14 09 55Gx (S0-a)14.313.41.40 × 0.7vF, S, E, glbMMCG -2-38-25, IRAS 14581-1358
NGC 5810 15 02 42.5-17 52 06Gx (SBb)14.113.31.20 × 0.8eF, vS, lE 230°, bet 2 vF stESO 581-18, MCG -3-38-46, IRAS 14598-1740
NGC 5812 15 00 55.7-07 27 27Gx (E1)12.211.22.30 × 2.0cB, S, R, svmbMMCG -1-38-16, UGCA 398
NGC 5815 15 00 29.1-16 50 02Gx (Sb)15.114.30.80 × 0.4eF, pS, E 10°, D * invMCG -3-38-44, IRAS 14576-1638
NGC 5816 15 00 04.8-16 05 37Gx (S0)15.814.80.50 × 0.3F, pS, gbMN, stellar
NGC 5817 14 59 40.8-16 10 50Gx (S0)15.214.20.90 × 0.7vF, pSMCG -3-38-41, NPM1G -15.0520
NGC 5849 15 06 50.6-14 34 16Gx (S0)14.913.90.90 × 0.8* 13 in vF neb, 3 st p 1s, * 8 f 10s, 15' sMCG -2-38-35, NPM1G -14.0559
NGC 5858 15 08 49.1-11 12 29Gx (E6)13.412.41.50 × 0.7F, S, stell N, II 192 sfMCG -2-39-2
NGC 5861 15 09 16.2-11 19 20Gx (SBc)12.311.63.00 × 1.7F, L, E, rMCG -2-39-3, IRAS 15065-1107
NGC 5863 15 10 48.3-18 25 52Gx (SBa)13.812.91.40 × 1.2* 12 in eF neb, S, RESO 581-22, MCG -3-39-1, NPM1G -18.0484
NGC 5872 15 10 55.6-11 28 46Gx (S0)13.612.61.50 × 0.9No descriptionMCG -2-39-5, NPM1G -11.0427
NGC 5877 15 12 53.1-04 55 27*3vF, S, * 12 att n
NGC 5878 15 13 45.7-14 16 13Gx (Sb)12.411.53.50 × 1.4pB, pL, pmE 0°, psmbM, * invMCG -2-39-6, UGCA 403, IRAS 15109-1405
NGC 5880 15 15 01.0-14 34 42Gx (S0)15.114.10.70 × 0.6eF, vS, R, bM, in field with 5883MCG -2-39-12, NPM1G -14.0561
NGC 5883 15 15 10.1-14 36 59Gx (S0)14.613.60.90 × 0.5No descriptionMCG -2-39-14, NPM1G -14.0562
NGC 5885 15 15 04.2-10 05 09Gx (SBc)12.311.83.50 × 3.1F, cL, R, vgbMMCG -2-39-13, IRAS 15123-0954
NGC 5890 15 17 51.1-17 35 19Gx (S0-a)13.612.71.30 × 1.0vF, vS, E 235°MCG -3-39-4, NPM1G -17.0406, IRAS 15150-1724
NGC 5891 15 16 13.2-11 29 38Gx (Sbc)14.613.80.80 × 0.5vF, pS, lE, gbM, * 11 fMCG -2-39-15, IRAS 15134-1118
NGC 5892 15 13 48.1-15 27 51Gx (SBcd)12.411.73.60 × 2.9eF, L, gbMMCG -2-39-7, Fath 703, NPM1G -15.0523, A 1511-15
NGC 5897 15 17 24.5-21 00 35GCL (XI)8.411.00globular, pF, L, viR, vgbM, rrrGCL 33, ESO 582-SC2
NGC 5898 15 18 13.6-24 05 51Gx (E0)12.511.42.70 × 2.6F, S, R, gbMESO 514-2, MCG -4-36-6, UGCA 404, AM 1515-235
NGC 5903 15 18 36.5-24 04 06Gx (E2)12.211.22.70 × 2.1cF, S, R, gpmbMESO 514-4, MCG -4-36-8, UGCA 405, AM 1515-235
NGC 5915 15 21 33.0-13 05 30Gx (SBab)12.812.31.60 × 1.1B, S, R, glbM, p of 2MCG -2-39-19, UGCA 407, IRAS 15187-1254
NGC 5916 15 21 37.8-13 10 09Gx (SBa/P)14.213.22.80 × 0.9F, S, lE, glbM, f of 2MCG -2-39-20, IRAS 15188-1259
NGC 5916 A15 21 13.7-13 06 03Gx (SBc/P)15.114.41.10 × 0.3F, S, lE, glbM, f of 2MCG -2-39-18
NGC 5917 15 21 32.5-07 22 39Gx (Sb)13.813.01.60 × 0.9eF, vS, psbMMCG -1-39-2, Arp 254, IRAS 15188-0711
NGC 5959 15 37 22.3-16 35 46Gx (E2)14.413.42.00 × 1.7vF, pS, vlE, bMNMCG -3-40-2, NPM1G -16.0490
NGC 5973 15 40 15.6-08 36 03Gx (S0-a)15.314.40.90 × 0.3F, S, iR
NGC 5978 15 42 27.1-13 14 02Gx (Sa)14.914.00.80 × 0.7eF, vS, sbMN, am stMCG -2-40-2, NPM1G -13.0488
NGC 5995 15 48 24.9-13 45 26Gx (Sa)14.513.60.90 × 0.7eF, S, R, vS * pMCG -2-40-4, NPM1G -13.0491, IRAS 15456-1336
IC 1055 14 47 25.6-13 42 58Gx (Sb)13.412.62.00 × 0.7F, pL, E nsMCG -2-38-11, IRAS 14446-1330
IC 1059 14 50 42.5-00 52 31Gx (C)15.014.00.80 × 0.7F, S, lbm, rCGCG 20-24, NPM1G -00.0458
IC 1060 14 51 47.3-07 13 55Gx (Sa)14.313.41.40 × 0.8No descrMCG -1-38-4, NPM1G -07.0452, IRAS 14491-0701
IC 1077 14 57 21.6-19 12 53Gx (SBbc)13.412.61.40 × 1.1vF, vS, R, gbMNESO 581-2, MCG -3-38-30, IRAS 14545-1900
IC 1080 14 57 59.7-06 43 22Gx (E-S0)14.813.81.40 × 0.9vF, vS, R, lbMMCG -1-38-10, NPM1G -06.0478
IC 1081 14 58 55.0-19 14 21Gx (SB0-a)14.613.71.40 × 0.5eF, pL, E 175°ESO 581-9, MCG -3-38-36
IC 1084 15 01 14.8-07 28 32Gx (E3)15.114.20.60 × 0.4eF, S, R, difMCG -1-38-17
IC 1091 15 08 13.4-11 08 26Gx (SBb)14.213.41.00 × 0.7vF, S, difMCG -2-39-1, IRAS 15055-1057
IC 1104 15 12 49.9-05 03 22*15.4vF
IC 1115 15 22 19.0-04 28 28*2eeF, S, R, pB * sf
IC 4455 14 33 43.7-14 37 10Sa14.513.60.80 × 0.3eF, cS, cE 30°NGC 5664, MCG -2-37-8, IRAS 14309-1424
IC 4468 14 38 26.8-22 22 02Gx (SBc)13.612.92.20 × 0.7F, pL, cE 160°, cbMESO 580-6, MCG -4-35-1, AM 1435-220, IRAS 14355-2209
IC 4476 14 39 51.8-16 14 41Gx (E3)15.314.30.60 × 0.4Neb, * 7 nf 5'NPM1G -16.0465
IC 4491 14 44 28.2-13 43 30NFF, S, eE 0°IC 1055 ?
IC 4501 14 47 25.4-22 24 21Gx (Sa?)14.513.61.00 × 0.7vF, S, indistinctESO 580-25, MCG -4-35-9, IRAS 14445-2211
IC 4510 14 50 40.0-20 43 54NFvF, vS, iR, suspPlate defect?
IC 4513 14 52 16.0-20 43 42NFF, S, vE 80°Plate defect?
IC 4536 15 13 17.3-18 08 15Gx (SBdm)13.613.02.20 × 1.8vF, L, R, F * att np, F * nr sfESO 581-24, MCG -3-39-2, UGCA 401, IRAS 15104-1756
IC 4538 15 21 11.6-23 39 30Gx (SBc)12.812.12.60 × 2.0eeF, vLESO 514-10, MCG -4-36-13, UGCA 406, IRAS 15182-2328

References

7«Der grosse Kosmos-Himmelsführer» von Ian Ridpath und Wil Tirion; Kosmos Verlag; ISBN 3-440-05787-9
9«Drehbare Sternkarte SIRIUS» von H. Suter-Haug; Hallwag-Verlag, Bern
15«Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes» by David Malin and David J. Frew; Melbourne University Press 1995; ISBN 0-522-84553-3
21«Taschenatlas der Sternbilder» von Josef Klepesta und Antonin Rükl; Verlag Werner Dausien; ISBN 3-7684-2384-0
59Eye On The Sky: Libra by Deborah Byrd; Astronomy 5/93, p.48
150IAU: The Constellations, 11. Oktober 2020; iau.org/public/themes/constellations
154Yale Bright Star Catalog, 15. Oktober 2020; tdc-www.harvard.edu/catalogs/bsc5.html
265PP3 - Celestial Chart Generation, Torsten Bronger; pp3.sourceforge.net (2021-02-11)
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; klima-luft.de/steinicke (2021-02-17)