The area highlighted in yellow is the asterism known as The Northern Cross.
Cygnus Constellation Facts
- Cygnus is one the most easily recognizable and brightest constellations in the night sky.
- The constellation is prominent in the Northern hemisphere but can also be viewed in the Southern hemisphere.
- In the Northern hemisphere the constellation can be seen from June to December.
- In the Southern hemisphere Cygnus can be viewed low on the northern horizon in the winter months.
- The super-giant Deneb is the brightest star in the constellation.
- The Northern Cross asterism is a prominent feature of the constellation.
- Deneb also features in the Summer Triangle, a bright asterism formed with the stars Vega and Altair.
- The North America Nebula is located within the boundaries of the constellation and can be viewed with the naked eye in some areas.
- Many exoplanets have been discovered within the boundaries of Cygnus, amongst these is the planet Kepler-22b which may possibly enjoy Earth like conditions.
- The star KIC 8462852, also known as Tabby's Star, exists within the constellation of Cygnus. This star exhibits very strange and irregular dimming patterns that have yet to be explained, it has been theorized that a large structure built by an advanced alien civilization is absorbing light from the star although a less exciting explanation is more likely.
- Cygnus is the Latin word for swan.
The constellation is a mythological representation of the swan.
Main Stars in the Cygnus Constellation
The number next to each star is its apparent magnitude, its brightness from our point of view on Earth, the lower the number the brighter the star in the night sky.
Also known as Alpha Cygni, Deneb lies around 2,500 light years from Earth and is the brightest star in the constellation, this huge star is a blue-white supergiant around 200 times larger in diameter than the sun and is estimated to be around 200,000 times more luminous. Deneb is one of the stars that forms the Summer Triangle, a bright asterism formed with Vega and Altair. Rukh
Also known as Delta Cygni, Rukh appears as a single star from Earth but is actually a triple star system consisting of a bluish-white giant, along with a yellow-white and orange main sequence stars, the system lies 170 light years from Earth. Sadr
Also known as Gamma Cygni, Sadr is a very distant star located at a distance of between 1,500 and 2,000 light years from Earth, the star is a bright yellow-white supergiant with a radius 150 times that of the sun, Gienah
Also known as Epsilon Cygni, Gienah is an orange giant star 170 light years from Earth, it has around twice the mass of the sun and is around 11 times larger in diameter. Albireo
Also known as Beta Cygni, Albeiro is a double star located around 430 light years from Earth, double stars are two stars that appear close to each other from Earth but may actually be separated by a large distance, the larger of the two stars is an orange giant with a radius around 70 times that of the sun.
Finding Cygnus - Northern Hemisphere
Finding Cygnus - Southern Hemisphere
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