English Name: The Swan
Hemisphere: Northern Hemisphere
Location: Between the constellations of Cephus and Draco.
Visible between latitudes: +90 and -40 degrees
Best season: Autumn
Seen in three seasons: Summer, Autumn and Winter
Best seen in: September
Seen between: May and November
Right Ascension (RA): 21 hour
Declination (DEC): +40 degrees
Area (square degrees): 804 (16th)
Cygnus (The Swan)
- Feature constellation of Cygnus, often nicknamed “The Northern Cross”; its brightest star is Deneb (Magnitude: +1.3)
- Deneb forms one corner of the Summer Triangle, with Vega in Lyra and Altair in Aquila. (See the photo.)
- It lies in a rich part of the Milky Way.
- M29 – Open Cluster; similar to the Seven Sister (M45), M29 is ten times farther away and is much less famous than The Seven Sisters.
- M39 – Open Cluster; Very large but very loose Open Cluster.
Features of Interest
- NGC 7000 – North America Nebula; large nebula, visible under dark skies with binoculars or a wide field eyepiece for telescope – also known as Caldwell 20 (C20), the astrophotography takes the image that resembles the outline of North America map.
- NGC 6826 – The Blinking Planetary; also known as Caldwell 15 (C15), is a planetary nebula – too bright with large telescopes to have the striking “blinking” effect seen with smaller telescopes.
- NGC 6992 – The Veil Nebula; left behind by the explosion of a massive star thousands of years ago – a large supernova remnant as left over to be seen today in Cygnus.
- Albireo – one of the great small-telescope showpieces in the sky; even low magnification views resolve it into a double star – brighter yellow star making a striking colour contrast with its fainter blue star. (Click me for location.)
- Deneb (Alpha Cyg)
- Albireo (Beta 1 Cyg)
- Sadr (Gamma Cyg)
- Gienah Cygni (Epsilon Cyg)
- Azelfafage (Pi 1 Cyg)
- Ruchba (Omega 2 Cyg)
- Photo of the constellation; Cygnus, as it appears to the naked eye. (Lines have been added for clarity.)
- Sky Chart – Cygnus
- List of stars in Cygnus.
Back to The 88 Constellations Lists page.