Tag Archives: Cygnus

Lacerta (The lizard)

Andromeda, LacertaLacerta, the lizard, is a northern hemisphere constellation that presents a slight “W” shape, and is hence sometimes referred to as “Little Cassiopeia.” It is nestled among five large and distinct constellations: Cepheus, Cygnus, Pegasus, Andromeda and Cassiopeia, and it can be found highest in the sky at nightfall in March. Most notable for telescope viewers is Roe 47, a multiple star system consisting of five gravitationally-bound components between 6th and 10th magnitude. While the brightest, 6th magnitude component can usually be seen with the unaided eye under very dark skies, a modest telescope is required to see all five components.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lacerta

IAU Lacerta chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Lacerta chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014
jim@jrjohnson.net

Delphinus (The dolphin)

Dephinus, EquuleusDelphinus is a very small, but easily identified northern constellation. It is perhaps the most interesting of the four small constellations located near the Summer Triangle as it loosely resembles a dolphin. It consists of only five main stars, and is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is located south of Cygnus, and is flanked by Aquila and Pegasus. It reaches its highest nightfall ascension in October.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphinus

IAU Delphinus chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Delphinus chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Vulpecula (The little fox)

Vulpecula, Sagitta, DelphinusThe little fox is a small constellation of just a few moderately bright stars occupying the center of the Summer Triangle. Bearing little resemblance to a fox, this constellation reaches its highest nightfall ascension in September, appearing nearly directly overhead.  This constellation is one of the 48 that were cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. Vulpecula  is home to two notable deep space objects: the Dumbell Nebula (M27) and the Brocchi’s Cluster (Collinder 399, also known as “the coathanger” asterism).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vulpecula

IAU Vulpecula chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Vulpecula chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Sagitta (The arrow)

Aquila, Sagitta, DelphinusSaggita, the arrow, is the third smallest constellation. Find this tiny constellation just inside the Summer Triangle on an imaginary line drawn between Deneb in Cygnus and Altair in Aquila. Yep, this constellation is a distinct arrow-like constellation and  it can be readily seen under a reasonably dark sky. Find it at its highest nightfall ascension in September.This is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by Ptolemy in the 2nd century. It contains only one Messier object, M71.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagitta

IAU Sagitta chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Sagitta chart, Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Cygnus (The swan)

Cygnus, LyraCygnus, the swan, is a bright and distinct northern constellations, and one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy.  It is located among Lyra, Hercules, Draco, Cepheus, Lacerta and Pegasus. Deneb (Alpha Cygni) is its brightest star, and a member of the Summer Triangle. Cygnus reaches its highest ascension in September. A gracefully flying swan can be  easily imagined while taking in this constellation. Cygnus is also known as the Northern Cross.

Cygnus lies on the Milky Way’s plane, and is thus filled with many deep space objects. Of these, two were cataloged by Charles Messier. M39 is an open cluster of about 30 stars in the north east corner of Cygnus, and M29 is a small open cluster near the crux of the Northern Cross. There are several named nebula, star clusters, and galaxies to include the Blinking Nebula (NGC 6826), the Rocking Horse cluster (NGC 6910), the Veil Nebula, the North America Nebula (NGC 7000), the Northern Coalsack nebula, the Soap Bubble nebula (PN G75.5+1.7), and the Fireworks galaxy.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cygnus_(constellation)

IAU Cygnus chart, (IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Rober Sinnott & Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Cygnus chart, (IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Rober Sinnott & Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Lyra (The harp or lyre)

Cygnus, LyraVega, the harp, or lyre, is a small, but pretty constellation northern constellation that contributes the bright star Vega (Alpha Lyre) to the Summer Triangle. Lyra is located between Hercules and Cygnus, and all of its main stars can be readily picked out, even in our light-polluted skies. It reaches its highest nightfall ascension in August.

640px-M57_The_Ring_NebulaLyra is home to two Messier objects. M56 is a rather loose globular cluster of stars located near Hercules’ southern border with Cygnus. M57 is one on the most interesting Messier objects, and is also known as the Ring Nebula. It is located half-way between the two stars of the parallelogram asterism most distant from Vega. The “ring” is an emission nebula consisting of an expanding shell of ionized gas that was ejected from a red giant star late in its life about 6,000 years ago.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyra

IAU Lyra chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.
IAU Lyra chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg), June 5, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net

Aquila (The eagle)

Scutum, Aquila, CapricornusAquila is a  fairly easily recognized constellation of medium to bright stars that is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. It is a pretty constellation that easily evokes an image of a soaring eagle. Lying south of Cygnus, and flanked by Pegasus to the east and Ophiuchus to the west, Aquila reaches its highest nightfall ascension in September.

The most notable star in Aquila is Altair (Alpha Aquilae), its brightest star and a member of the Summer Triangle. Aquila lies in the same direction as the Milky Way, so several  gaseous nebula can be found in this constellation. The most famous of these are the Owl Nebula (NGC6781) and the Glowing Eye nebula (NGC6751),
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquila_(constellation)

IAU Aquila chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 4, 2011.
IAU Aquila chart, IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott and Rick Fienberg), June 4, 2011.

© James R. Johnson, 2014.
jim@jrjohnson.net