Cygnus


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Cygnus

(sĭg`nəs) [Lat.,=the swan], northern constellationconstellation,
in common usage, group of stars that appear to form a configuration in the sky; properly speaking, a constellation is a definite region of the sky in which the configuration of stars is contained.
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 located SE of Draco and NW of Pegasus. It was depicted as a bird by most ancient cultures. It is sometimes called the Northern Cross because five of its brightest stars form a huge Latin cross. Its most famous star is DenebDeneb
, brightest star in the constellation Cygnus; Bayer designation Alpha Cygni; 1992 position R.A. 20h41.2m, Dec. +45°15'. It is a white supergiant of spectral class A2 Ia; its intrinsic brightness (about 60,000 times as luminous as the sun) is the
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, at the head of the cross, forming a large triangle with Vega in Lyra and Altair in Aquila. Cygnus reaches its highest point in the evening sky in September.

Cygnus

(sig -nŭs) (Swan) A large conspicuous constellation in the northern hemisphere, lying in the Milky Way. The five brightest stars – Alpha (α) (1st mag.), Gamma (γ), Epsilon (Ɛ), and Delta (δ) (2nd mag.), and Beta (β) (3rd mag.) – form the Northern Cross: α, γ, β comprise the long arm and ∊, γ, δ the transverse arm. Alpha is the extremely luminous supergiant Deneb and Beta the beautiful binary Albireo. There are several other noticeable binaries and some variables, including the Mira star Chi (χ) Cygni, the brightest dwarf nova SS Cygni, and the highly luminous unstable P Cygni. There is a large open cluster, M39 (NGC 7092), some complex emission and dark nebulosity, and the supernova remnant known as the Cygnus Loop, comprising several bright nebulae. The constellation also contains the star 61 Cygni, the powerful radio source Cygnus A, and the X-ray binaries Cygnus X-1 and Cygnus X-3. Cygnus X-1 and the object V404 Cygni are promising black-hole candidates. Abbrev.: Cyg; genitive form: Cygni; approx position: RA 20.5h, dec +40°; area: 804 sq deg. See also North America Nebula.

Cygnus

[′sig·nəs]
(astronomy)
A conspicuous northern summer constellation; the five major stars are arranged in the form of a cross, but the constellation is represented by a swan with spread wings flying southward; right ascension 21 hours, declination 40°N. Abbreviated Cyg. Also known as Northern Cross; Swan.
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