How did the Libra constellation get its name?

Introduction

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered how the constellations got their names? One of those constellations is Libra, which is located in the southern sky. Libra is a zodiac constellation and is represented by the scales, but how did it get its name? Let’s explore the history and mythology behind the Libra constellation.

Libra’s Origins and History

Libra is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by Ptolemy, a Greek astronomer who lived in Alexandria in the second century. Its name comes from the Latin word “libra,” which means “balance” or “scales.” The constellation was originally part of Scorpius, and it wasn’t until Roman times that Libra became a separate constellation.

The Mythology Behind Libra

The mythology behind Libra is closely tied to the Greek goddess of justice, Themis. In Greek mythology, Themis was known for her fairness and impartiality, and she was often depicted holding a set of scales. The scales represented her ability to weigh evidence and make fair decisions.

According to legend, when Zeus was trying to resolve a dispute between the gods, he asked Themis to help him. She weighed the arguments of both sides on her scales and came to a fair decision. Zeus was so impressed with her fairness that he placed her scales in the sky as a constellation, which we now know as Libra.

Another story surrounding the Libra constellation is that it represents the balance between night and day during the autumnal equinox. During this time, the sun passes directly over the equator, and the lengths of day and night are equal. The scales of Libra represent this balance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Libra constellation is named after the Latin word for “balance” or “scales,” and it represents the goddess of justice, Themis. According to legend, Themis used her scales to weigh evidence and make fair decisions, and Zeus was so impressed with her that he placed her scales in the sky as the constellation Libra. Another story surrounding Libra is that it represents the balance between day and night during the autumnal equinox. Whether you believe in the myths and legends or not, the Libra constellation is a beautiful and fascinating part of the night sky.