Lyra the Lyre

August 09, 2017

Whole_of_Lyra_HALF (2)

Photographer: Greg Parker 
Summary Authors: Greg Parker, Jim Foster

Featured above is a 4-frame mosaic showing the constellation of Lyra the Lyre. Lyra is nearly overhead at midnight during midsummer in the Northern Hemisphere. The brilliant bright, blue-white star at upper right is Vega (the Harp Star), the fifth brightest star in the night sky, having a magnitude of 0.03. It's relatively close by, just 25 light years away. The lyre itself is represented by 4 second and third magnitude stars in the shape of a parallelogram. Sulafat at lower left and Sheliak at lower right form the bottom of the lyre. In between them, just a little more than halfway towards Sheliak, is the well known Ring Nebula or M57. It's somewhat difficult to discern here but appears brighter and larger than any star in the vicinity. Also, note that the double star close to Vega, in the 10 o'clock position, is, in fact, Epsilon Lyrae - the famous double-double (each of the double stars is also a double).

Photo Details: Canon camera; 200mm lens; at f 3.8; the Trius M26C 10-Megapixel OSC CCDs; 2 hour exposure time using 10-minute sub-exposures.