The Lyra Constellation

With a recently acquired beginner telescope, the Lyra Constellation’s various stars came into full view with a clarity previously denied through a pair of binoculars.

Lyra is a constellation in the northern hemisphere. It was introduced by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century. The constellation is associated with the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus, the great musician killed by the Bacchantes. Orpheus carried with him the first lyre ever made, invented by Hermes and given to him by the god Apollo. After Orpheus’ death, Zeus dispatched an eagle to fetch the lyre from the river into which it had fallen and then turned both into constellations in the sky. The lyre became the constellation Lyra and the eagle became Aquila. The constellation is sometimes depicted as an eagle or a vulture carrying a lyre and was also once known as Aquila Cadens (“falling eagle”) or Vultur Cadens (“falling vulture”).

The constellation Lyra occupies an area of 286 square degrees and contains five stars with known planets. It can be seen at latitudes between +90° and -40°.

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