NAME: Lyra (LEER-uh)
CULMINATION: midnight, 2 July
GENITIVE: Lyrae (LEER-eye)
NEIGHBORS: Cyg, Dra, Her, Vul
BINOCULAR OBJECTS: NGC 6779 (M 56)
URBAN OBJECTS: NGC 6720 (M 57)
Lyra is a mid-size, mid-northerly constellation that ranks 52nd in size among the 88 constellations. Lyra covers 286 square degrees of the celestial sphere, or about 0.7%. Although Lyra has only one bright star—0th magnitude Vega, which is the northwestern apex of the Summer Triangle asterism with Deneb and Altair—it is easy to recognize the constellation because of the pattern of 3rd and 4th magnitude stars that forms a prominent parallelogram pattern just to the southeast of Vega.
Lyra is an ancient constellation, recognized ...