Constellation Cygnus (Swan)

Cygnus
Cygnus: IAU Constellation Map [150]

Properties

Cygnus is a very showy and beautiful summer constellation. Its brightest stars form a figure that one can associate with the corresponding shape of the swan without much imagination. The tail of the swan sailing across the Milky Way is marked by Deneb, its head by Albireo and the two wings by delta and epsilon Cygni. Cygnus lies in a star-rich region of the Milky Way, which appears to be divided into two parts by an extensive dark cloud on dark nights. Deneb, the main star, is a corner point of the famous summer triangle, which is completed by Atair and Wega. The constellation Cygnus extends over an area of 804 square degrees in the sky and the center culminates around midnight on July 29th. [9, 15]

Stars with Proper Names:

  • α Cyg: Deneb, Deneb Cygni, Deneb El Adige, Arided, Aridif, Gallina, Arrioph
  • β1 Cyg: Albireo
  • γ Cyg: Sadr, Sador, Sadir
  • ε Cyg: Gienah Cygni, Gienah
  • π1 Cyg: Azelfafage
Data for constellation Cygnus [150]
IAU NameCygnus
IAU GenitiveCygni
IAU Abbr.Cyg
English NameSwan
Season (47° N)March … December
Right Ascension19h 07m 30s … 22h 03m 03s
Declination+27° 43' 57" … +61° 21' 28"
Area804 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Cep, Dra, Lyr, Vul, Peg, Lac

Deep-Sky Object Descriptions

Mythology and History

In Greek mythology, Cyknos (Cygnus) was a musician king and a devoted friend of Phaethon, the son of the sun god Helios. One day Phaethon persuaded his father to let him lead the sun chariot across the sky, but then he lost control of the horses and wreaked havoc on heaven and earth. The king of the gods, Zeus, hurled one of his thunderbolts at Phaethon, killing him instantly. His still smoldering body fell into the river Eridanus. Kyknos jumped into the river, swam back and forth and kept diving to find his friend's body. It was said that it looked like a swan swimming in the water, diving for food. Helios looked on sadly and picked up his son's loyal friend and sat him on a place between the stars in the firmament. [71]

Cygnus
Cygnus: Milky Way with dark clouds and bright nebulae; Nikon D3, Nikkor 24-70mm 2.8G @ f/4, SkyWatcher StarAdventurer Pro; L: 50*120s, D: 15*120s, F: 15, ISO 1600; Glaubenberg Pass; © 18. 9. 2020 Bernd Nies

In another version of this myth, Cygnus wandered in a poplar grove on the bank of the Eridanus River, mourning the death of his friend. In the end, the gods pitied him so much that they turned him into a swan of stars. Since then it has been said that swans sang sad songs when they are about to die. This is the origin of the expression "swan song", which denotes the last work of a musician or poet before his death. [71]

At another time and place in Greek mythology, Zeus slipped into the shape of a swan in order to be able to approach Leda, the wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta, who was bathing her lovely body in the river. The immortal children of Leda, who had Zeus for their father, were Helena and Pollux. The mortal children she bore to her husband Tyndareus were Castor and Clytemnestra. [7, 20]

In Arabia, the constellation has been seen as a flying bird. In Christian symbolism it was interpreted as the crux of Christ, the cross on Calvary and the northern cross. [20, 54]

Catalogs

Yale Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed. (Hoffleit+, 1991) [154]
HR B F RA [hms] Dec [dms] vMag spType dMag Sep ["]
7328κ119 17 06.2+53 22 073.77 G9III
7372219 24 07.6+29 37 174.97 B3IV
7395419 26 09.1+36 19 045.15 B9pSi
7408ι1719 27 25.9+52 19 145.75 A1V
7417β1619 30 43.3+27 57 353.08 K3II+B9.5V 2.034.7
7418β2619 30 45.3+27 57 555.11 B8Ve 2.034.7
7420ι21019 29 42.3+51 43 473.79 A5Vn
7426819 31 46.3+34 27 114.74 B3IV
7441919 34 50.9+29 27 475.38 F8III+A0V 0.50.1
74571119 35 48.3+36 56 406.05 B8Vne
7469θ1319 36 26.5+50 13 164.48 F4V 6.948.4
7478φ1219 39 22.6+30 09 124.69 G8III-IV 0.0
74831419 39 26.5+42 49 065.40 B9III
75031619 41 48.9+50 31 315.96 G1.5Vb 0.239.2
75171519 44 16.6+37 21 164.89 G7+III
7528δ1819 44 58.5+45 07 512.87 B9.5IV+F1V 3.52.0
75341719 46 25.6+33 43 404.99 F7V 3.526.0
7564χ19 50 33.9+32 54 514.23 S6+/1e v5.2158.0
75661919 50 34.0+38 43 215.12 M2IIIa 6.455.5
75762019 50 37.7+52 59 175.03 K3IIICN1
76082319 53 17.4+57 31 255.14 B5V
76132219 55 51.7+38 29 124.94 B5IV
7615η2119 56 18.4+35 05 003.89 K0III 7.746.0
7619ψ2419 55 37.8+52 26 204.92 A4Vn 2.33.1
76472519 59 55.2+37 02 345.19 B3IVe
76602620 01 21.6+50 06 175.05 K1II-III 3.841.8
76892720 06 21.8+35 58 215.36 K0IV 4.011.9
77082820 09 25.6+36 50 234.93 B2.5Ve v
77303020 13 18.0+46 48 574.83 A5IIIn 1.0337.5
77353120 13 37.9+46 44 293.79 K2II+B3V 1.0337.5
77362920 14 32.0+36 48 234.97 A2V 1.6212.4
77403320 13 23.9+56 34 044.30 A3IV-Vn
77513220 15 28.3+47 42 523.98 K3Ib+B3V 5.5208.9
77633420 17 47.2+38 01 594.81 B2pe
77693620 18 28.6+37 00 005.58 A2V
77703520 18 39.1+34 58 585.17 F5Ib
7796γ3720 22 13.7+40 15 242.20 F8Ib 8.5141.2
78063920 23 51.7+32 11 244.43 K2.5IIIFe-0.5
78264020 27 34.3+38 26 255.62 A3V
78284320 27 02.3+49 23 005.69 dF0
78344120 29 23.7+30 22 074.01 F5II
78354220 29 20.4+36 27 175.88 A1Ib
7844ω14520 30 03.5+48 57 064.95 B2.5IV 7.056.3
78474420 30 59.2+36 56 096.19 F5Iab 3.42.0
7851ω24620 31 18.8+49 13 135.44 M2IIIab 4.756.8
78664720 33 54.2+35 15 034.61 K2Ib+B3V 5.6117.6
78854820 37 31.8+31 34 216.32 B8IIIn 0.1180.8
79214920 41 02.6+32 18 265.51 G8IIb 2.32.5
7924α5020 41 25.9+45 16 491.25 A2Ia t10.075.4
79295120 42 12.6+50 20 245.39 B2V 6.03.0
79425220 45 39.7+30 43 114.22 G9.5III 5.06.1
7949ε5320 46 12.7+33 58 132.46 K0-III 9.354.9
7963λ5420 47 24.5+36 29 274.53 B5Ve 1.30.9
79775520 48 56.3+46 06 514.84 B3Ia e6.321.3
79845620 50 04.9+44 03 345.04 A4mDel Del 6.075.5
80015720 53 14.8+44 23 144.78 B5V
8028ν5820 57 10.4+41 10 023.94 A1Vn
80475920 59 49.6+47 31 164.74 B1ne v4.420.1
80536021 01 10.9+46 09 215.37 B1Ve v4.52.6
8079ξ6221 04 55.9+43 55 403.72 K4.5Ib-II e
80856121 06 54.6+38 44 455.21 K5V 0.828.7
80866121 06 55.3+38 44 366.03 K7V 0.828.7
80896321 06 36.1+47 38 544.55 K4Ib-IIa 8.315.7
8115ζ6421 12 56.2+30 13 373.20 G8+III-IIIaBa0.6 7.991.2
8130τ6521 14 47.5+38 02 443.72 F2IV 2.51.0
8143σ6721 17 25.0+39 23 414.23 B9Iab v
8146υ6621 17 55.1+34 53 494.43 B2Vne 6.415.3
81546821 18 27.2+43 56 455.00 O7.5III:n((f)) e
82096921 25 47.0+36 40 035.94 B0Ib 5.353.4
82157021 27 21.4+37 07 005.31 B3V
82287121 29 27.0+46 32 265.24 K0-III
8252ρ7321 33 58.9+45 35 314.02 G8IIIFe-0.5
82557221 34 46.6+38 32 034.90 K0.5III
82667421 36 57.0+40 24 495.01 A5V
82847521 40 11.1+43 16 265.11 M1IIIab 4.257.9
82917621 41 34.3+40 48 196.11 A2V 4.062.1
83007721 42 22.9+41 04 385.69 A0V 0.20.1
8301π18021 42 05.7+51 11 234.67 B3IV
83077921 43 25.7+38 17 025.65 R A0V 1.3151.2
8309μ17821 44 08.6+28 44 344.73 H F6V 1.32.0
8310μ27821 44 08.3+28 44 356.08 H G2V 1.32.0
8335π28121 46 47.6+49 18 344.23 B3III

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Planetary Nebulae
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 676620 10 23.7+46 27 42PN12.610.90.25planetary, stellarNGC 6884, PK 82+7.1, CS=15.6
NGC 682619 44 48.2+50 31 32PN9.88.80.6planetary, B, pL, R, * 11 MPK 83+12.1, CS=10.4, Blinking planetary
NGC 683319 49 46.6+48 57 42PN13.812.10.18planetary, stellarPK 82+11.1, CS=14.8
NGC 688120 10 52.5+37 24 44PN14.313.90.27planetary, stellarPK 74+2.1, CS=16.7
NGC 689420 16 24.0+30 33 57PN14.412.30.92!!, Ring, F, S, vvlEPK 69-2.1, CS=15.8
NGC 700821 00 32.8+54 32 38PN13.310.71.43cB, L, E 45° ±, r, ** attPK 93+5.2, CS=12.3
NGC 702621 06 18.6+47 51 10PN12.710.90.75pB, biN, planetaryPK 89+0.1, CS=14.5
NGC 702721 07 01.7+42 14 12PN10.48.50.3 × 0.2planetary, stellar = 8.5 mPK 84-3.1, CS=16.3
NGC 704821 14 15.2+46 17 21PN11.312.11.02pF, pL, dif, iR, vlbMPK 88-1.1, CS=18.3
IC 511721 32 31.0+44 35 50PN13.311.50.2Planetary, stellarPK 89-5.1, CS=17.2
Galactic Nebulae
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 685720 01 48.0+33 31 30EN11.40.63F, am Milky Way stPK 70+1.2, Sh2-100, not a PN
NGC 688820 12 06.5+38 21 18EN10.018 × 13F, vL, vmE, ** attLBN 203, Sh2-105, Crescent nebula
NGC 691420 24 43.0+42 29 00RN3 × 3vF, vL, iR, dif, 2 st att pLBN 274
NGC 696020 45 42.0+30 43 00SNR7.070 × 6!! pB, cL, eiF, κ Cygni invLBN 191, Veil nebula
NGC 697420 51 04.0+31 49 54SNRNeb *, neby cE pfknot in Veil nebula
NGC 697920 50 30.0+32 01 36SNR7 × 3vF, S, iE, sev F st f nrpart of Veil nebula
NGC 699220 56 18.0+31 44 30SNR7.060 × 8!!, eF, eL, eE, eiF, bifurcatedCED 182B, Veil nebula
NGC 699520 57 10.0+31 14 00SNR7.012 × 12F, eL, neb & st in groupsCED 182C, Veil nebula
NGC 700020 59 18.0+44 31 00EN4.05.0120 × 100F, eeL, dif nebulosityLBN 373, North America nebula
IC 131820 22 14.0+40 15 24EN50 × 30γ Cygni, surrounded by L patches of F nebyLBN 245, part of Gamma Cyg nebula
IC 1318 A20 16 36.0+41 49 00EN50 × 20γ Cygni, surrounded by L patches of F nebyLBN 251, part of Gamma Cyg nebula
IC 1318 B20 27 54.0+40 00 00EN14.945 × 30γ Cygni, surrounded by L patches of F nebypart of Gamma Cyg nebula
IC 134020 56 08.0+31 02 54SNR25 × 20Possibly conn with h 2093part of Veil nebula
IC 506720 47 50.0+44 22 00EN8.025 × 10FLBN 353, CED 183A, Pelican nebula
IC 506820 50 30.0+42 28 42EN40 × 30vFLBN 328, CED 183B
IC 507020 51 00.0+44 24 06EN8.060 × 50F, difLBN 350, CED 183C, Pelican nebula
IC 507620 55 33.0+47 23 42RN9 × 7vF, vL, lE ns, st invLBN 394, CED 185
IC 514621 53 24.0+47 16 00EN+OCL10 × 10pB, vL, iF, * 9.5 in MOCL 213, LBN 424, Cocoon nebula
Open Clusters
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 681119 37 09.6+46 22 32IV3p6.815Cl, L, pRi, lC, st 11…14OCL 185
NGC 681919 41 18.0+40 11 00I1r7.35Cl, vL, vRi, st 11…15OCL 155
NGC 683419 52 12.5+29 24 29II2m7.86Cl, P, lC, st 11…12OCL 134
NGC 684619 56 28.1+32 20 55IV1p14.20.8eF, vS, 3 st invOCL 139
NGC 686620 03 55.1+44 09 33II2m8.07.67Cl, L, vRi, cCOCL 183
NGC 687120 06 27.0+35 47 24IV3p5.230Cl, st L and S, ** invOCL 148
NGC 687420 07 48.0+38 14 00IV1m7Cl, P, lCOCL 157.1, *Grp ?
NGC 688320 11 18.0+35 51 00I3p8.035Cl, pRi, ** invOCL 152
NGC 691020 23 12.0+40 46 43I2p7.410Cl, pB, pS, P, pC, st 10…12OCL 181
NGC 691320 24 06.0+38 29 36III3p6.610Cl, P, lC, st L and SM 29, OCL 168
NGC 6991 120 55 50.0+47 25 10OCL10Cl, L, P, vlCWH's cluster
NGC 6991 220 54 43.5+47 16 54OCL8Cl, L, P, vlCJH's cluster
NGC 699620 56 30.0+45 28 24III2p10.05Cl, P, lCOCL 197, in Milky Way
NGC 699720 56 30.0+44 39 00III2p10.08Cl, P, lC, st LOCL 197
NGC 703121 06 52.0+50 50 36IV1p9.115Cl of triple st, lCOCL 210
NGC 703921 11 12.0+45 39 00III2p7.615Cl, vL, pRi, E, st 10…OCL 203
NGC 704421 13 09.4+42 29 46II2r12.07Cl, vF, pL, vRi, vC, st 15…18OCL 198
NGC 706221 23 27.4+46 22 43III1p8.35Cl, pS, pRi, pC, st 13…OCL 205
NGC 706321 24 22.0+36 29 12III2p7.09Cl, P, st 10…OCL 192
NGC 706721 24 12.3+48 00 41II2p9.73Cl, P, ? NebOCL 208
NGC 708221 29 17.0+47 07 36IV2p7.224Cl, L, cRi, lC, st 10…13OCL 209
NGC 708621 30 27.5+51 36 02II2m8.412Cl, cL, vRi, pC, st 11…16OCL 214
NGC 709221 31 52.0+48 25 30III2p4.631Cl, vL, vP, vlC, st 7…10M 39, OCL 211
NGC 712721 43 52.9+54 35 46IV1p6Cl, S, P, lCOCL 219
NGC 712821 43 57.7+53 42 55II3m9.74Cl, S, pRi, has a ruby * 9.5OCL 218
IC 131020 10 01.0+34 58 06II1p3F nebyOCL 147, Berkeley 50, in LBN 181?
IC 131120 10 48.0+41 10 24II3rn13.15eF, within circle of stOCL 173, COU 45, URA 50
IC 136921 12 09.0+47 46 00I1m8.85S neb Cl of st 13mOCL 204
IC 499620 16 31.7+37 38 35II3p7.37Cl, st 8...13 (M.N., lxiv.)OCL 158
Galaxies
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 676419 08 16.6+50 55 59SBbc12.611.92.2 × 1.2pF, pL, mE, sev vF st invUGC 11407, MCG 8-35-3, CGCG 256-7, IRAS 19070+5051
NGC 678319 16 47.5+46 01 05C15.414.40.6 × 0.6eF, difficMCG 8-35-7, CGCG 256-13
NGC 679819 24 03.1+53 37 27S014.213.21.6 × 0.9F, vS, R, * v nrIC 1300, UGC 11434, MCG 9-32-2, CGCG 281-1
NGC 680119 27 35.9+54 22 21Sc14.613.91.3 × 0.7eF, pS, R, F * s nrUGC 11443, MCG 9-32-5, CGCG 281-3, IRAS 19264+5416
NGC 682419 43 40.5+56 06 32Sab13.012.21.9 × 1.4pB, iF, bMUGC 11470, MCG 9-32-12, CGCG 281-8, IRAS 19426+5559
NGC 691620 23 33.1+58 20 39SBbc14.313.51.8 × 1.2eeF, pS, F * close p, v difficUGC 11554, MCG 10-29-4, CGCG 304-4, IRAS 20224+5810
NGC 694620 34 52.1+60 09 12SBc9.68.811.5 × 9.8vF, vL, vg, vsbM, rrUGC 11597, MCG 10-29-6, CGCG 304-6, Arp 29, IRAS 20338+5958
NGC 701321 03 33.6+29 53 49S0-a12.411.34 × 1.4pB, cS, R, psbM, pB * npUGC 11670, MCG 5-49-1, CGCG 491-2, IRAS 21014+2941
NGC 711621 42 40.4+28 56 48Sbc14.213.41.1 × 0.4vF, pL, mEUGC 11796, MCG 5-51-1, CGCG 493-5
IC 130119 26 31.9+50 07 33S0-a14.213.31.2 × 0.7eeF, vS, R, 3 st fIC 4867, UGC 11437, MCG 8-35-10, CGCG 256-17, KCPG 539A, NPM1G +50.0429
IC 130219 30 52.8+35 47 06SBc14.113.40.9 × 0.4vF, undefinedMCG 6-43-2, IRAS 19290+3540
IC 130319 31 30.2+35 52 33Sc15.014.31.3 × 0.8vF, S, with S ClUGC 11452, MCG 6-43-4, IRAS 19296+3546
IC 139221 35 32.6+35 23 55E-S013.012.01.1 × 0.7pB, vmbM *UGC 11772, MCG 6-47-3, CGCG 512-6

References

7«Der grosse Kosmos-Himmelsführer» von Ian Ridpath und Wil Tirion; Kosmos Verlag; ISBN 3-440-05787-9
9«Drehbare Sternkarte SIRIUS» von H. Suter-Haug; Hallwag-Verlag, Bern
15«Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes» by David Malin and David J. Frew; Melbourne University Press 1995; ISBN 0-522-84553-3
20«Sternbilder und ihre Mythen» von Gerhard Fasching; Zweite, verbesserte Auflage; Springer Verlag Wien, New York; ISBN 3-211-82552-5 (Wien); ISBN 0-387-82552-5 (New York)
54Eye On The Sky: Cygnus by Deborah Byrd; Astronomy 8/92, p.48
71The Starry Sky: Cygnus by Deborah Byrd; Astronomy 7/94, p.52
150IAU: The Constellations, 11. Oktober 2020; iau.org/public/themes/constellations
154Yale Bright Star Catalog, 15. Oktober 2020; tdc-www.harvard.edu/catalogs/bsc5.html
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; klima-luft.de/steinicke (2021-02-17)