vendredi 19 septembre 2008

Lyra 1

Here are some of Lyra's brighter stars:
α Lyr (Vega): with an apparent brightness of 0.03m this is the second brightest star of the northern hemisphere (after Arcturus) and the fifth brightest star in all; its spectral class is A0 V and it lies at a distance of only 25.3 ly.
β Lyr (Sheliak): a group of eclipsing binaries is named after this variable star (3.45m, spectral class B8 II), the Beta-Lyrae-stars.
γ Lyr (Sulafat): the main star of this multiple star system is of magnitude 3.24m and spectral class B9 III
δ Lyr: a double star consisting of a blue-white star of mag. 6m and a semi-regular red giant varying between 4m and 5m.
ε Lyr: a well-known quadruple star, also called "the Double Double" because each of the two brighter components is itself a close double.
ζ Lyr: another double star which can be split using binoculars.
RR Lyr: lent its name to a class of pulsating variable rated r superstars the RR Lyrae-stars.

For millennia, Lyra was shown as a vulture or an eagle, and thus the bird was frequently shown with a lyre enclosed in its wings, though often in its beak. The constellation is therefore frequently referred to as Aquila Cadens or vultur cadens, falling eagle or falling vulture.
When Orpheus was struck by grief at the death of his wife, he vowed never to fall in love again. He was killed by a group of Thracian women upset with his rejection, they tore him limb from limb and sent his head to the island of Lesbos. After that his lyre was thrown into the river. Zeus sent an eagle to retrive the lyre, and ordered both of them to be placed in the sky.
In the film K-PAX the constellation of Lyra is the location of the planet K-PAX which is an inhabited world which orbits twin stars and has seven moons.
In Australian Aboriginal Astronomy, Lyra is known by the Boorong people in Victoria as the Malleefowl constellation.
Lyra was known as Urcuchillay by the Incas and was worshipped as an animal deity.

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