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Origin[]

605px-Libra IAU

Location of α Librae (circled).

Alpha Librae (α Lib, α Librae) is the Bayer designation for the second brightest star in the constellation Libra (despite its Bayer designation as alpha). It has the traditional name Zubenelgenubi (pronounced "zoo-BEN-el-je-NEW-bee"). The name, from Arabic الزبن الجنوبي (al-zuban al-janūbiyy), means "southern claw" and was coined before Libra was recognized as distinct from Scorpius. The alternate names Kiffa Australis and Elkhiffa Australis, partial Latin translations of Arabic al-kiffah al-janūbiyy, mean "southern pan (of the scales)". Another name used in older astronomy texts, equivalent to "southern scale or pan", was Lanx Australis.

Alpha Librae is close to the ecliptic so it can be easily occulted by the Moon and (very rarely) by planets. The next occultation by a planet will be by Mercury on 10 November 2052.

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