Lyra is a constellation. Its name is Latin for the lyre, a stringed musical instrument used in
classical antiquity and later. Lyra was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy,
and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union today. Lyra
is a small constellation, but its principal star, Vega, is one of the brightest in the sky.
With 26 known exoplanets orbiting around 20 stars in this constellation, Virgo has more confirmed exoplanets
than any other constellation. 8 planets in this constellation were discovered in 2009, which is the most planets
discovered in a single constellation in a single year.
This constellation is visible from the northern hemisphere from spring through autumn, and is nearly overhead during
the summer months. From the southern hemisphere, this constellation is visible low in the southern sky during the winter months.
In Lyra can be found the objects M56, M57, and Kuiper 90. M56 is a rather loose globular cluster at a distance
of approximately 32,900 light-years, with a diameter of about 85 light years. Its apparent brightness is 8.3m.
M57 is also known as the "Ring Nebula". It is one of the best known of all planetary nebulae; its integrated magnitude
is 8.8m. It is thought to be between 6,000 and 8,000 years old as we see it today. Kuiper 90 is also known as
17 Lyrae C (Gliese 747AB), a red dwarf system near 17 Lyrae, but really at 26 light years from the Sun.