Beta Librae

Beta Librae

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Beta Librae is the brightest star
Star
A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

 in the constellation
Constellation
In modern astronomy, a constellation is an internationally defined area of the celestial sphere. These areas are grouped around asterisms, patterns formed by prominent stars within apparent proximity to one another on Earth's night sky....

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

. It has the traditional name Zubeneschamali (icon) and the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 name Lanx Borealis ("the northern scale [of the Balance]"). The name Zubeneschamali is derived from the Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

 الزبن الشمالية (al-zuban al-šamāliyya) meaning "The Northern Claw".

Its galactic coordinates are
Galactic coordinate system
The galactic coordinate system is a celestial coordinate system which is centered on the Sun and is aligned with the apparent center of the Milky Way galaxy. The "equator" is aligned to the galactic plane...

 352.0,
Galactic coordinate system
The galactic coordinate system is a celestial coordinate system which is centered on the Sun and is aligned with the apparent center of the Milky Way galaxy. The "equator" is aligned to the galactic plane...

 +39.2.

Description


Beta Librae is a blue dwarf star of spectral type
Stellar classification
In astronomy, stellar classification is a classification of stars based on their spectral characteristics. The spectral class of a star is a designated class of a star describing the ionization of its chromosphere, what atomic excitations are most prominent in the light, giving an objective measure...

 B8 (main sequence star), a little less evolved than Sirius
Sirius
Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. With a visual apparent magnitude of −1.46, it is almost twice as bright as Canopus, the next brightest star. The name "Sirius" is derived from the Ancient Greek: Seirios . The star has the Bayer designation Alpha Canis Majoris...

. It has apparent magnitude
Apparent magnitude
The apparent magnitude of a celestial body is a measure of its brightness as seen by an observer on Earth, adjusted to the value it would have in the absence of the atmosphere...

 2.7.

At a distance of 160 light years from Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, it is about 130 times more luminous than the Sun and has a surface temperature of 12,000 K
Kelvin
The kelvin is a unit of measurement for temperature. It is one of the seven base units in the International System of Units and is assigned the unit symbol K. The Kelvin scale is an absolute, thermodynamic temperature scale using as its null point absolute zero, the temperature at which all...

, double that of the Sun. This high temperature produces light with a simple spectrum
Spectrum
A spectrum is a condition that is not limited to a specific set of values but can vary infinitely within a continuum. The word saw its first scientific use within the field of optics to describe the rainbow of colors in visible light when separated using a prism; it has since been applied by...

, making it ideal for examining the interstellar gas and dust between us and the star. Like many stars of its kind, it is spinning rapidly, over 100 times faster than the Sun. This type of hydrogen-fusing star often appears blue-white, but Beta Librae is often described as greenish, the only greenish star visible to the naked eye.

The small periodic variations in the magnitude of the Beta Librae imply the presence of a companion star which is not directly observable from earth.

History


According to Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek mathematician, poet, athlete, geographer, astronomer, and music theorist.He was the first person to use the word "geography" and invented the discipline of geography as we understand it...

 Beta Librae was observed to be brighter than Antares
Antares
Antares is a red supergiant star in the Milky Way galaxy and the sixteenth brightest star in the nighttime sky . Along with Aldebaran, Spica, and Regulus it is one of the four brightest stars near the ecliptic...

. Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

, three hundred and fifty years later, said it was as bright as Antares. The discrepancy may be due to Antares becoming brighter, but this is not known for certain. It could simply be caused by Beta Librae being a variable star
Variable star
A star is classified as variable if its apparent magnitude as seen from Earth changes over time, whether the changes are due to variations in the star's actual luminosity, or to variations in the amount of the star's light that is blocked from reaching Earth...

 with a variability of 0.03 of a magnitude.

See also


External links


Find more Arabic Star Names and their meanings at the following site: