Constellation of the Month

The best way to learn all the stars is to focus on a particular group and learn them one at a time.
Vega is the brightest star in the constellation.  It is my favorite star, not because Carl Sagan used it for his novel "Contact', but because it is at the zenith at midnight around my birthday in July.  It is part of the summer triangle with Deneb and Altair.  Vega is close, only 8 parsecs away, which means every six months, it appears to move one eighth of a second of arc in the sky against the background of farther stars.
Sheliak, beta Lyrae, and delta Lyrae are the farthest in the constellation, some about 245 pc away.  Sheliak and Sulaphat mean tortoise in Persian and Arabic, respectively.  Sheliak appears to be a binary pair, which may explain its light variations.
Epsilon Lyrae is a double double star of two close binaries.  Binoculars will separate them; a telescope will split them into four.
The Ring Nebula appears between Sulaphat and Sheliak.  M57 is a planetary nebular, which is an expanding sphere of gas.

Lyra the Lyre



Vega is 8 parsecs away, with its brighter
pole's pointing toward us.

Ad astra per aspera