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Constellation Guide

Constellation guide to the 88 official constellations which divide up the sky. These constellations are used to help navigate the celestial sphere. The Constellations are patterns in the sky which have been to invented and have deep mythology behind them. Constellations cover massive areas in the sky and as such are very easy to find.

Some of the constellations have very familiar names, such as Leo, Gemini, Virgo and Aquarius. There are 12 of these constellations and they form the Zodiac. The Zodiac constellations follow the line of the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun on the celestial sphere.

Libra

The Balance

It is a fairly inconspicuous constellation and has no star of first magnitude, lying between Virgo to the west and Scorpius to the east.

Libra

Libra Mythology

The constellation, which had originally formed part of the claws of the scorpion (Scorpio), is the youngest of the Zodiac and the only one not to represent a living creature. In later Greek mythology, the constellation, which when considered on its own looks vaguely like a set of scales, was considered to depict the scales held by Astraea (identified as Virgo), the goddess of justice.

Further Information

Since Libra was originally part of Virgo (as scales), and before that part of Scorpio, it was not a distinct entity for which a zodiac sign was named. Its place may have been taken by Bootes, which is the nearest to the ecliptic. Since the place Bootes should have held on the ecliptic is vacant, it may have, together with Ursa Major, Draco, and Ursa Minor, also in Libra, led to the myth of the apples of the Hesperides, one of The Twelve Labours of Hercules.

 

More Constellations

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