It bore the traditional name Shaula, which comes from the Arabic الشولاء al-šawlā´ meaning 'the raised [tail]', as it is found in the tail of Scorpius, the scorpion. In 2016, the International Astronomical Union organized a Working Group on Star Names (WGSN) to catalog and standardize proper names for stars. The WGSN's first bulletin of July 2016 included a table of the first two batches of names approved by the WGSN, which included Shaula for the star λ Scorpii Aa.
In Indian Astronomy it is called MulA Nakshathram. Mūla ("root") (Devanagari मूल/मूळ) (Tamil: மூலம்) is the 19th nakshatra or "lunar mansion" in Vedic astrology. The symbol of Mula is a bunch of roots tied together (reticulated roots) or an 'elephant goad' (ankusha).
Spectroscopic and interferometric observations have shown that it is actually a triple star system consisting of two B-type stars and a pre-main-sequence star. The primary star is a Beta Cephei variable star with rapid brightness changes of about a hundredth of a magnitude. The pre-main-sequence star has an orbital period of 6 days and the B companion has a period of 1053 days. The three stars lie in the same orbital plane, strongly suggesting that they were formed at the same time. The masses of the primary, pre-main-sequence star and the B companion are 14.5, 2.0 and 10.6 solar masses, respectively. The age of the system is estimated to be in the range 10–13 million years.
A 15th-magnitude star has a separation of 42 arcseconds, whereas a 12th-magnitude star is 95 arcseconds away. It is not known whether or not these components are physically associated with Lambda Scorpii. If they both were, the first would have a projected linear separation of approximately 7,500 astronomical units (AU) and the second approximately 17,000 AU (0.27 light-years) away.
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