Vega (star)

Vega (Star) . ( Alpha Lyrae ). It is the fifth brightest star in the night sky and second in the northern hemisphere after Arthur . Vega is a white star , the brightest in the constellation Lyre. It is relatively close to the Solar System , about 25 light-years away . At first it was taken as a reference to the zero value of stellar magnitude , but subsequent measurements have deviated this value to +0.03. Vega has been widely studied by astronomers, becoming classified as the most important star in the sky after the Sun. Vega is 2.7 times the diameter of the Sun , hotter, more massive, and 37 times brighter. It was the first star in history to be photographed, at the Harvard Observatory on the night of July 16-17, 1850, with a 15-inch refracting telescope and a 100-second exposure.

Due to the declination of the Earth’s axis , Vega was a pole star 14,000 years ago and will be so again in 12,000 years.


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  • 1 Location
  • 2 Mythology
  • 3 Origin of the name
  • 4 Sources


Vega is the brightest star in the constellation Lyre of the boreal summer. It can be seen frequently near the zenith in mid-northern latitudes during summer nights in the Northern Hemisphere. From latitudes to the south, it can be seen on the northern horizon during winter in the Southern Hemisphere. With a declination of + 38.78 °, Vega can only be seen at latitudes north of 51 ° S, so it cannot be seen from Antarctica or the southernmost regions of South America . At latitudes of + 51 ° N, Vega remains continuously above the horizon as a circumpolar star.



Location of Vega in the constellation of the Lyre

Together with Altair ( Alpha Aquilae ) and Deneb ( Alpha Cygni ), it forms the so – called Summer Triangle , an important reference of stellar orientation in the sky of said boreal season.



In classical Hellenistic mythology, it is the lyre of the Muses, invented by Hermes , who gave it to Apollo in reparation for a robbery he committed against him. Apollo in turn gave it to Orpheus, and when he died, Zeus turned the Lyre into a constellation. Vega represents the handle of the harp.

In Chinese mythology, there is the love story of Qi Xi in which Niu Lang (Altair) and his two sons (β and γ Aquilae) are separated from their mother Zhi Nü (Vega) who is on the far side of the river, the Milky Way. However, once a year on the seventeenth day of the seventeenth month of the Chinese lunisolar calendar, a bridge is made and thus Niu Lang and Zhi Nü can be together again for a short time.

Name’s origin

The name Wega (later Vega) comes from a transliteration of the Arabic word wāqi, which means “falling” or “landing”.

The Assyrians named this pole star Dayan-same, the “Judgment of Heaven”, while by the Akkadians it was named Tir-anna, “Life of the Heavens”. In Babylonian astronomy, Vega must have been one of the stars named Dilgan, “Messenger of Light.”


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