Cyg - Cygnus the Swan

  • Aql - Aquila the Eagle

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    22 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Between Cygnus and Sagittarius, with Altair (its brightest star) making the south end of the Summer Triangle (along with Deneb of Cygnus and Vega of Lyra). As the night sky changes, Aquila the Eagle and Cygnus the Swan swing slowly westward across the sky towards the horizon. The Eagle sets tail first, followed closely by the Swan, who dives beak first below the western horizon.

    Skylore and Literature

  • Cep - Cepheus the King of Ethiopia

    Size

    27 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Another circumpolar constellation is the Ethiopian king, Cepheus (SEE-fee-us). He sits atop the Milky Way on a throne near his queen Cassiopeia. The legs and seat of his throne make a rough square. On the Ursa Major side of Cassiopeia, looks like a house (or throne) sitting on the Milky Way. Look for mu-Cephei, the "garnet star," with a deep reddish tint. The back of the seat comes to a point at the top above his head.

    Cepheus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

  • Cyg - Cygnus the Swan

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    16 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Find the bowl of the big dipper and locate the two stars nearest the handle. A line running through these stars, tracing away from it above the open bowl. This line runs to Deneb, the tail of the constellation Cygnus the Swan. With wings abreast, and long neck outstretched, Cygnus flies along the milky river.

    Cygnus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

  • Dra - Draco the Dragon

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    8 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Draco occupies over 1,000 square degrees in the sky as it winds from the Pointers of Ursa Minor nearly to Vega in Lyra. Yet it has no bright stars.

    Draco is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

    To the Babylonians, Draco was Tiamat, a dragon killed by the sun god in the creation of the world.
    To the Greeks, Draco guarded the Golden Apples of the Sun in a magical garden.

     

    Special Stars

  • Lac - Lacerta the Lizard

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    68 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Between Cepheus and Pegasus; no bright stars, but in Milky Way.

    One of the seven constellations created by the Polish astronomers Elisabeth and Johannes Hevelius, in 1687 / 1690.

     

  • Lyr - Lyra the Harp

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    52 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    The summer triangle consists of Deneb... Altair... and bluish Vega. Vega is the second brightest star in the northern hemisphere, closely rivaling Arcturus. Vega means Swooping Eagle in Arabic. It soars almost directly overhead in summer, while the bright stars of winter nights are hidden almost directly beneath our feet. Look for a small parallelogram of stars near Vega which forms the frame of the harp.

  • Peg - Pegasus the Flying Horse

    Size

    7 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Farther along on the line from the Pointers to Polaris and Cassiopeia is a large, nearly perfect square of four stars. This is the Great Square of Pegasus. Pegasus, the Winged Horse, lies almost directly overhead in autumn. Located east of Andromeda; signals the coming of Fall. Because Pegasus flies so fast, his hind quarters can’t be seen.

    Pegasus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

     

    Skylore and Literature:  See Andromeda and Perseus.

  • Vul - Vulpecula the Fox

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    55 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Located between Cygnus and Aquila, where the Milky Way divides into two branches.

    Contains the first-discovered pulsar (a rapidly-pulsing radio source).

    M27, Dumbbell Nebula (Planetary nebula), mag. 7.6.