The constellation Lyra depicts the musical instrument (a Lyre) that was crafted by the god Hermes and offered to Orpheus, the musician of the Argonauts. Lyra’s music would help nearby Hercules pass the time away.
Lyra contains an extremely bright star called Vega, also known as alpha Lyrae. Vega is very bright because is two and a half times as large as our Sun and it is also located close to Earth. In fact, this massive star is just 23 light-years away from the Earth which is the equivalent of a next door neighbor by celestial standards.
An interesting fact about the Vega star is that it will eventually become our Pole star. Earth’s celestial poles move around in a circle every 27,500 years. In approximately 12,000 years from now, the plant’s axis rotation will position Vega directly above the north pole, making it our new polar star, just as it was about 15,000 years ago.
Double Stars in Lyra Constellation
The region around Vega is rich with double stars. Epsilon delta and Zeta Lyrae can be seen through binoculars. Another popular sign is the double star epsilon Lyrae because by anyone with sharp vision can spot them without any kind of visual aid. Through a telescope, observers will see that each of its two component stars is also a double star itself. All four stars have a magnitude ranging only from 5.1 to 6.0, but they are extremely close together.
Great Telescopes to Observe Vega and nearby Double Stars
|Orion SkyQuest XT8 Classic Dobsonian Telescope||Celestron NexStar 130 SLT Computerized Telescope||
Orion SkyView Pro 8 GoTo Reflector