Sandwiched between some of the most prominent and recognisable constellations in the northern sky lies this innocuous zig-zag of faint stars.
The sparse region between Andromeda and Cygnus
was given various names during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This constellation
might have become Sceptrum, the Sceptre, or even Frederick's Glory in honour of Frederick of Prussia. Ultimately, though, the name given
to it by Hevelius in 1687 was to survive: Lacerta, the Lizard.
Though Lacerta is relatively lacking in interesting objects, it does lie on the Milky Way, and
as we would expect it is not entirely devoid of features. In particular, there are two open star clusters
in its northern parts, designated C16 and NGC 7209, which are slightly too faint to be seen without a telescope. These
clusters both lie about three thousand light
years from Earth.