Lyra (/ˈlaɪərə/; Latin for lyre, from Greek λύρα) is a small constellation.
Its principal star, Vega (Abhijit in Sanskrit), a corner of the Summer Triangle, is one of the brightest stars in the sky. Beginning at the north, Lyra is bordered by Draco, Hercules, Vulpecula, and Cygnus.
Lyra is visible from the northern hemisphere from spring through autumn, and nearly overhead, in temperate latitudes, during the summer months. From the southern hemisphere, it is visible low in the northern sky during the winter months.
Lyra’s brightest stars include the following:
α Lyr (Vega). With an apparent brightness of 0.03m, this is the third brightest star of the northern hemisphere (after Arcturus) and the fifth brightest star in all; its spectral class is A0 V and it lies at a distance of only 25.3 ly.
β Lyr (Sheliak). A group of eclipsing binaries is named after this variable star (3.45m, spectral class B8 II), the Beta-Lyrae-stars.
γ Lyr (Sulafat). The main star of this multiple star system is of magnitude 3.24m and spectral class B9 III.
δ1 Lyr. A double star consisting of a blue-white star of mag. 6m and a semi-regular red giant.
ε Lyr. A well-known quadruple star, also called “the Double Double” because each of the two brighter components is a double star.
ζ Lyr. Another double star, which can be split using binoculars.
RR Lyr lends its name to a class of pulsating variable, RR Lyrae-stars.
DM Lyr is a dwarf nova, namely a close binary consisting of a white dwarf and a low mass star where the former strips off material from the latter, forming an accretion disc which explodes brightly from time to time.
Kepler-37 – star with smallest extrasolar planet known so far (February 2013)
Kepler-62 – star with a five-planet system discovered by Kepler spacecraft in April 2013.
Exoplanets including WASP-3b, HAT-P-5b, GJ 758 b and c, HD 178911 Bb, HD 177830 b, TrES-1, and HD 173416 b have been discovered in Lyra. In January 2010 the Kepler Mission announced the discovery of the additional planets Kepler-7b, Kepler-8b, and three planets around Kepler-9 are expected to be the first of many discovered by the mission, which has a significant part of its field of view in Lyra.
In April 2013, it was announced that of the five planets orbiting Kepler-62, at least two — Kepler-62e and Kepler-62f—are within the boundaries of the habitable zone of that star, where scientists think liquid water could exist, and are both candidates for being a solid, rocky, earth-like planet. The exoplanets are 1.6 and 1.4 times the diameter of Earth respectively, with their star Kepler-62 at a distance of 1,200 light-years.
1 image 3s 1600iso f1-8 (more stacked images required)
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