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Libra - the Scales


Mythology - This is the most recent addition to the Zodiac, dating back to the reign of Julius Caesar. Legend has it that Caesar commissioned his court astrologers to create a sign that represented his equanimity. The scales of justice were forged from the ankles of Virgo and the claws of Scorpius, in fact the names of the two brightest stars testify to their origins. It is the only inanimate sign of the Zodiac.
Stars - Zuben El Genubi (alpha libræ) is a fine binocular double. Zuben Eschamali (beta libræ) is said to be the only naked eye star that appears green, though this is almost certainly an optical effect, and nothing to do with the stars' actual colour. Have a look and see what you think!
Deepsky - NGC 5897 is a loose globular cluster, but needs large binoculars to see it from the UK.
Visibility - The best time to see Libra is in July