The Lyre

Abbreviation: Lyr
Genitive: Lyrae

The constellation of Lyra

In Greek mythology, this constellation is associated with the lyre or harp of Orpheus, legendary musician, poet and prophet.

The first magnitude star Vega forms an asterism, the 'Summer Triangle', with two other first magnitude stars, Altair and Deneb.

Notable Features

Designation Name Description
Lyrids Confusingly, the radiant for the Lyrids meteor shower lies just inside the border of the neighbouring constellation Hercules.
α Lyr Vega This first magnitude star forms one part of the asterism known as the 'Summer Triangle'. Because of axial precession, it takes a turn as the north polar star. It held that position about 12000 years ago and will resume that job in another 14000 years.
β Lyr Sheliak This is a double star when viewed through a small telescope.
γ Lyr Sulafat
RR Lyr Although this star has no common name, it is a famous variable star and the prototype of an entire class of objects called RR Lyrae stars. RR Lyrae stars are found mostly in globular clusters. It is located above η Lyr and θ Lyr on the sky map.
M56 The globular cluster is a challenging binocular object but a medium-size telescope will resolve it.
M57 Ring Nebula A small telescope will show a small, fuzzy ellipse but larger apetures should reveal the ring-like structure.