Cygnus: The Swan

SIG-nus

Cygnus, The Swan

Cygnus as depicted by Johann Bayer in his Uranometria (1624). Source image provided by www.RareMaps.com — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.

Cygnus Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Cyg Genitive: Cygni Origin: Ancient
Location: Northern Hemisphere Size/Area: 804 sq. deg. Size Rank: 16
On Meridian: 9pm September 10th Best View (North): Summer Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Cepheus, Draco, Lyra, Vulpecula, Pegasus, Lacerta

 

The Myth Behind the Constellation Cygnus

Cygnus, “The Swan” is connected with several myths.  In one of the more popular ones, Cygnus is Zeus.  To seduce Leda, wife of Tyndareus, king of Sparta, Zeus took the form of a swan.  The offspring from this union were Polydeuces and Castor, who are represented by the constellation Gemini, and the beautiful Helen (Helen of Troy).

Cygnus Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting Objects in the Constellation Cygnus
Name Messier NGC Type Visibility
M29 NGC 6913 Open Cluster Binoculars
M39 NGC 7092 Open Cluster Binoculars

 

Bright Stars in Cygnus

These are the stars in Cygnus with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.

Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Deneb Alpha Cygni 1.25  White 60,000 suns 1400 ly
Sadr Gamma Cygni 2.23  Yellow-White 27,389 suns 1523 ly
Gienah Epsilon Cygni 2.48  Yellow-Orange 70 suns 72 ly
Ruc Delta Cygni 2.86  Blue-White 204 suns 171 ly