National Research Council Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Libra (The Scales)

Warning Information found on this page has been archived and is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. Please visit NRC's new site for the most recent information.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.


Legend

Libra (The Scales)

To the ancient Babylonians, Libra represented scales or balance. This might be because the Sun was in front of the stars of Libra during their autumnal equinox, when days and nights were of equal length. To the Greeks, the stars of Libra were not their own constellation, but rather the claws of the scorpion Scorpio. The Romans resurrected the idea of Libra representing scales, and sometimes drew Virgo holding the scales, just like the goddess of justice.

The two brightest stars in Libra have interesting Arabic names — Zubenelgenubi, "the southern claw," and Zubenelchemale, "the northern claw."

Back to Previous Page