Libra (constellation)

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Libra is a constellation of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for weighing scales, and its symbol is Libra.svg (Unicode ). It is fairly faint, with no first magnitude stars, and lies between Virgo to the west and Scorpius to the east.

Contents

Notable features

The brightest stars in Libra form a quadrangle:

σ Librae was formerly known as γ Scorpii despite being well inside the boundaries of Libra. It was not redesignated as σ Librae until 1851 (by Benjamin A. Gould).

Planetary system

Libra is home to the star Gliese 581, which has a planetary system consisting of at least 6 planets, including Gliese 581 g, the best candidate planet for human habitability and extra-solar life yet discovered,[1] Gliese 581 c, the first Earth-like extrasolar planet to be found within its parent star's habitable zone, Gliese 581 d, discovered in 2007 to be another Earth-like planet, and Gliese 581 e, the smallest mass exoplanet orbiting a normal star,[2] all of which are of significance for establishing the likelihood of life outside of the Solar System.[3] The family of candidate habitable planets was extended in late September 2010 to include Gliese 581 g, a tidally locked planet in the middle of the habitable zone, and currently the most likely discovered exoplanet to be capable of supporting life.[4]

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