Abbreviation:  Lyr
English Name:  The Lyra
Genitive: Vega
Hemisphere:  Northern Hemisphere
Location: Between the constellations of Cygnus and Hercules.
Visible between latitudes:  
+90 and -40 degrees
Best season: Summer
Seen in three seasons: Spring, Summer, & Autumn.
Best seen in:  August
Seen between: April and November
Right Ascension (RA):  19 hour
Declination (DEC):  +40 degrees
Area (square degrees):  286 (52nd)

Lyra (The Lyra)

  • This small constellation, but beautiful, is overlooked by Vega – one of the brightest stars in the sky.
  • About 4000 years ago, the star Thuban was the North Star. Since then, movement in the position of the Earth’s axis has changed where the North Pole points, so the North Star is now Polaris. In another 10,000 years or so, the North Star will be Vega!
  • Vega, along with Deneb and Altair form the well-known Summer Triangle.

Messier Objects

  • M56  –  Globular Cluster;  Low concentration of stars, rather loose – unlike most globular clusters, this one has no bright core.
  • M57  –   Planetary Nebula; Ring Nebula, also known as Smoke Ring, sometimes it’s called Donut Nebula, very impressive and stunning objects. Small telescopes show it as a featureless patch or disk, but 4-inch brings out the shape.

Features of Interest

  • NGC 6791  –  Open Cluster, roughly 8 billion years old; very rich in stars (more than 100 stars), looks like sparse lobular cluster which is detached with a strong concretration toward the centre has a brightness range.

Named Stars

  • Vega (Alpha Lyr)
  • Sheliak (Beta Lyr)
  • Sulafat (Gamma Lyr)
  • Double Double (Epsilon 1 Lyr)
  • Double Double (Epsilon 1 Lyr)
  • Double Double (Epsilon 2 Lyr)
  • Double Double (Epsilon 2 Lyr)
  • Aladfar (Eta Lyr)
  • Alathfar (Mu Lyr)


  • Photo of the constellation; Lyra, as it appears to the naked eye. (Lines have been added for clarity.)
  • Sky Chart  –  Lyra
  • List of stars in Lyra.

Back to The 88 Constellations Lists  page.

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