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Lyra

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Lyra is a small constellation located between Hercules and Cygnus, north of Vulpecula. It lies at the edge of the Milky Way. In mythology, the god Hermes built a stringed instrument from a tortoise shell and called it the lyre. He gave the instrument to his brother Apollo who in turn gave it to his son with the muse Calliope, Orpheus. Orpheus learned to play the lyre so beautifully that all who heard were soothed, including people, wild animals, even the trees and the rocks. When his wife Eurydice died, Orpheus travelled to the underworld to reclaim her and played his music for the ghosts, furies. Pluto relented and allowed Eurydice to follow Orpheus back to the world under the condition that Orpheus not look at her until they reached the open air. Just before their escape, Orpheus glanced behind and Eurydice was immediately borne back to the underworld. Orpheus was inconsolable and died at the edge of the underworld finally reunited with his beloved wife. Jupiter placed the Lyre in the heavens in his honor.