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A Field Book of the Stars/Lyra

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LYRA lī'-ra)— THE LYRE.

Location.—Lyra may be easily distinguished because of the brilliant Vega, its brightest star, which is situated about 12 degrees southwest of the Dragon's head. It is unmistakable, as it is the brightest star in this region of the heavens, and one of the most brilliant stars in the northern hemisphere. In July and August Vega is close to the zenith.

The six bright stars in Lyra form an equilateral triangle on one corner of a rhomboid. A very characteristic figure.

(ε) is a pretty double for binoculars, and a double double for a powerful telescope.

(ζ) is a double for good binoculars.

(β) is a variable, changing from third to nearly fifth magnitude in a week's time.

The noted ring nebula lies between (β) and (γ). A powerful telescope alone renders it visible.

If the distance from the earth to the sun equalled one inch, the distance from the earth to Vega would be one hundred and fifty-eight miles.

Vega was the first star to be photographed, in 1850. It is visible at some hour every clear night, and has been called the arc-light of the sky.
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