Constellation Lyra

 

The Lyre (lat. Lyra) is a constellation of 286 square degrees in the northern hemisphere. Its brightest star Vega forms together with the brightest stars of Cygnus and Aquila the striking summer triangle.

How to spot Lyra

As the brightest star in the north, Vega ensures that the constellation Lyra is easy to find. South of it are four stars that form a parallelogram. The constellation is located between Hercules, Vulpecula, Draco and Cygnus. Lyra is best to discover in summer and autumn nights.

Mythology

The constellation of the lyre is to remember the musical instrument of Orpheus. Hermes built it from the shell of a turtle and later gave it to his half-brother Apollo, who inherited it to his son Orpheus. Orpheus quickly learned to master the instrument and put people, animals and nature in indescribable joy and bliss. He was known not only as a musician and singer, but also as a poet and writer. Thus, he traveled through the country to inspire his surroundings in every place. On one of these trips, he met the nymph Eurydice, fell in love with her and married her.

However, on the wedding night, she was killed by a poisonous snake. Orpheus sought her desperately in the Realm of the Dead and managed to convince Hades with his music to let his beloved wife go. The God of the Underworld imposed only three conditions on him: He had to continue to play his lyre on the way to the Realm of the Living, to go in front of Eurydice and to not turn back to her until they reached the light of day. Since Orpheus could not hear the steps of his wife because of the music, he turned to her eagerly. He never saw her again and died lonely with a broken heart. In memory of his arts, Zeus placed the lyre in the starry sky.