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Kappa Lyrae

1 Lyrae

Proper NameNone
Bayer DesignationKappa Lyrae
Flamsteed Number1 Lyrae
HR (BSC)6872
Right Ascension18h 19m 52s
Declination+36° 3' 52"
Distance252 light years
77 parsecs
MagnitudeApparent: +4.32
Absolute: -0.12
Spectral ClassK2-IIIabCN0.5 orange giant
Optimum VisibilityJuly

A faint orange star on the western borders of the constellation Lyra, where that constellation meets Hercules in the sky. Kappa Lyrae lies southwestward of brilliant Vega (Alpha Lyrae), and eastward of the quadrangle of stars in Hercules known as the Keystone. It shines at a visual magnitude of +4.32, which makes it faint, but visible to the naked eye under suitably dark conditions. Its absolute magnitude is -0.12, so if it lay at the same distance as neighbouring Vega, Kappa Lyrae would shine nearly twice as brightly.

Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas

In fact, Kappa Lyrae is considerably more distant than Vega, and so appears much fainter in the sky (Kappa Lyrae is almost exactly ten times farther from the Sun than Vega, at a distance of some 252 light years). This is an orange giant star in the later stages of its life, burning helium in its core rather than hydrogen. As a giant star, it has expanded to become nearly a hundred times more luminous than the Sun, and more the twenty times the diameter.


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