The Constellation Lyra

by Dominic Ford
Lyra Lyra
The constellation Lyra. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.

Lyra is a northern summer constellation, which is highest in the midnight sky in the months around June. It is best known for its brightest star, Vega, which forms one vertex of the Summer Triangle asterism. Vega is the fourth brightest star in the whole sky, and defines the zero point of the magnitude system.

Lyra's other stars are all much fainter than Vega; none are brighter than third magnitude.

This area of the sky is home to the celebrated planetary nebula M57, the Ring Nebula, one of the brightest in the sky. It is also home to the globular cluster M56.

In Greek mythology, the lyre represented here was the first lyre ever made, belonging to Orpheus, the greatest musician of his age. In earlier times, the Arabs saw an eagle in the same sky area: the name of the star Vega means ‘the swooping eagle’ in Arabic.

Date First Appeared
Sky Area
0.7% of the sky
286.5 square degrees
Messier Objects
Lyra contains the following Messier objects: M56, M57.
Caldwell Objects
Lyra contains no Caldwell objects
The following constellations neighbor Lyra: Cygnus, Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula.
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Brightest Objects in Lyra

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Vega (mag 0.0) NGC 6791 (mag 9.5) Messier 56 (mag 8.3) NGC 6646 (mag 0.0)
Sulafat (mag 3.2) NGC 6686 (mag 0.0)
Sheliak (mag 3.6) NGC 6713 (mag 0.0)
R Lyr (mag 4.2) NGC 6663 (mag 0.0)
δ²-Lyr (mag 4.3) NGC 6792 (mag 0.0)
ζ¹-Lyr (mag 4.3) NGC 6612 (mag 0.0)
κ-Lyr (mag 4.3) NGC 6672 (mag 0.0)
θ-Lyr (mag 4.3) IC 4772 (mag 0.0)
η-Lyr (mag 4.4) NGC 6657 (mag 0.0)
HD 173780 (mag 4.8) NGC 6688 (mag 0.0)
λ-Lyr (mag 4.9) NGC 6740 (mag 0.0)
HD (mag 5.0) NGC 6665 (mag 0.0)
16-Lyr (mag 5.0) NGC 6700 (mag 0.0)
μ-Lyr (mag 5.1) IC 1288 (mag 0.0)
ε²-Lyr (mag 5.2) NGC 6640 (mag 0.0)
ν-Lyr (mag 5.2) NGC 6675 (mag 0.0)
HD 176051 (mag 5.2) NGC 6662 (mag 0.0)
17-Lyr (mag 5.2) NGC 6692 (mag 0.0)
ι-Lyr (mag 5.2) NGC 6745 (mag 0.0)
HD 176527 (mag 5.3) NGC 6606 (mag 0.0)
HD (mag 5.4) NGC 6671 (mag 0.0)
ε²-Lyr (mag 5.4) IC 1296 (mag 0.0)
HD 172044 (mag 5.4) NGC 6703 (mag 11.3)
HD 171301 (mag 5.5) NGC 6710 (mag 12.8)
HD 175740 (mag 5.5) NGC 6702 (mag 13.1)




Color scheme