Libra the Balance Scales

Libra (LEE-bruh) is a box of four medium-bright stars to the right of Scorpius. The box Is standing on one end, resembling a diamond. It Is at its best spot for viewing in the early summer, when It is in the southern sky.

Libra is a set of balance scales that work by balancing two pans hanging from a lever, like the scales of justice seen on court buildings. The Sumerians may have originally called these stars scales because the Sun was In front of these stars on the first day of autumn, when day ■ and night are balanced in length.

f Libra is the only constellation in the zodiac that isn't an animal. The stars of Libra were once seen as claws that belonged to Scorpius to the east. If you look at the Scorpion carefully, it is missing its claws. While it may make more sense for Libra's stars to be Scorpion's claws, ancient astronomers who wanted to divide the zodiac into 12 equal parts borrowed these stars to form a separate constellation.

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