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06/15/2012 – Ephemeris – The constellation of Libra the scales or balance

June 15, 2012 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, June 15th.  Today the sun will be up for 15 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 9:29.   The moon, half way from last quarter to new, will rise at 3:49 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the sun will rise at 5:56.

One of the constellations of the Zodiac or circle of animals isn’t either animal or human.  It is Libra the Scales or balance.  It lies low in the southern sky at 11 p.m., just to the right of the rising Scorpius the scorpion.  Libra, it seems, is an afterthought, a simple diamond shape of four stars..  Its two brightest stars Zubeneschamali and Zubenelgenubi translate to the north and south claw respectively, of Scorpius to the left of it.  The Arabs, at least, seemed to view this as part of Scorpius.  The balance was perhaps to signify the equality of day and night, at the time the sun was in this part of the sky at the start of autumn, over 2000 years ago.  Nowadays the sun is one constellation west, in Virgo at the start of autumn.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The constellation Libra on June 15, 2012 at 11 p.m. Created using Stellarium.

The constellation Libra on June 15, 2012 at 11 p.m. Created using Stellarium.

Click on image to enlarge.