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 Constellation Guide LYRA

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scopeman

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PostSubject: Constellation Guide LYRA   Fri Aug 26, 2011 5:40 pm

Lyra - The Lyre (Harp)



Pronounced 'Lye - Ruh'



Where to find the constellation









Constellation chart









Lyra is quite a small constellation, and doesn't have a lot of targets for the beginner - but those it has, are among the finest - the Ring nebula, the Double-double, and a nice globular cluster.

Easy to find, by it's 'searchlight' primary star, Vega - the brightest star of the 'summer triangle' of Vega, Deneb, Altair - Vega is to the East in Spring, pretty much overhead in Summer, and to the West during Autumn (Fall) and early winter.



M56

A small tight globular cluster, halfway between Sulafat, and Albireo (the colourful double in Cygnus)





M57

The Ring Nebula

About halfway between Sulafat, and Sheliak - VERY small, appears like an out of focus star in 15x binoculars, like a disc in a low power telescope, and a smoke-ring at higher power - One of the 'Showpiece' planetary nebulae



At high power, appears as a ghostly 'smoke-ring' - possibly a faint hint of green at the eyepiece - the colours seen in Hubble-style pictures, only show up with long-exposure photography. You may pick up the centralstar with enough aperture (10" or better)

It should look something like this through the eyepiece at high power...







Th Double-Double

Epsilon Lyra - Very easy to split the two components - even in 10x binocs - but at high powers in the telescope, each of those two is also a very tight double star - each double is less than 3 arcseconds separation - a real test of optics for a small scope.

Some scopes may only show each double as an 'elongation' - you need to see some black between the two elements to have successfully 'split' the doubles.

They are orientated like the pic below (from Starry Night software)





And if you can't split the Double-Double - how about trying the 'Double-Double's double'

Also in Lyra, all elements are dimmer, but have a wider separation than Epsilon Lyra.

See the main constellation chart - the two main elements are immediately below the 'e' of the second 'double'

The uppermost has two white elements, 14 arcsec apart - the lower one is two yellow stars, 16 arcsec apart.





Lyra NGCs (with magnitudes) - from my own "1200 Northern NGCs" list

For those with 'GoTo' or a good chart

6703 - Gal - 11.3

6720 - PN - 9.4 (M57)

6765 - PN - 12.9

6779 - GC - 8.3 (M56)
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astrolover

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PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide LYRA   Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:26 pm

Excellent piece - and proof that you can learn something new every day. All these years I wasn't even pronouncing it right! Suspect
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TomK

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PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide LYRA   Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:26 pm

Another great job - thanks!
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Astrotones



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PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide LYRA   Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:27 pm

very nice indeed.
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astro_alan

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PostSubject: Re: Constellation Guide LYRA   Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:27 pm

Very well done Thanks Smile
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