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Meaning in Englishthe Lyre
Right ascension19 h
Visible to latitudeBetween +90° and  -40°
Best visibleAugust
 - Total
Ranked 52nd
286 sq. deg.
Number of stars with
apparent magnitude < 3
Brightest star
 - Apparent magnitude
Vega (α Lyrae)
Meteor showers
  • Lyrids
  • June Lyrids
  • Alpha Lyrids
Bordering constellations

The constellation Lyra (the Lyre) already formed part of Ptolemy's list of 48 constellations and is also one of the 88 modern constellations approved by the IAU. Lyra isn't very big but still easily to be found because of its principal star Vega which is also a vertex of the so-called "Summer Triangle".

Beginning at the north, Lyra is surrounded by the Dragon Draco, the Roman hero Hercules, the Little Fox Vulpecula and the Swan Cygnus.

Table of contents
1 Notable features
2 Notable deep sky objects
3 Mythology

Notable features

Here are some of Lyra's brighter stars:

Notable deep sky objects


Older maps of the sky show a bird, especially a vulture (Vultur cadens). Together with Cygnus and Altair this constellation then represents the Stymphalian Birds killed by the Greek hero Heracles (Roman Hercules) during his Sixth Labour.

Lyra is better known as the lyre, however, the musical instrument invented by the Greek god Hermes. Hermes gave it to his half-brother Apollo who passed it on to Orpheus. Orpheus went into the Underworld to find and rescue his bride Eurydice who had been killed by a snake-bite. Hades (Roman Pluto) was deeply moved by Orpheus' music, so much in fact that he agreed to let Eurydice leave with Orpheus. On one condition, however: Orpheus must walk in front of his bride and not look back while still in the Underworld. At the last moment Orpheus could no longer restrain himself and did what had been prohibited thus condemning Eurydice. After Orpheus' death his lyre was placed among the stars.