The Deep Photographic Guide to the

The constellation of the month

Cygnus, Lyra

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Mark the Deep Sky Objects


Latin: Cygnus (Cyg), Lyra (Lyr)
English: Swan, Lyre Spanish: Cisne, Lira
German: Schwan, Leier French: Cygne, Lyre

The extended constellation Cygnus is shown on the left hand side and the small constellation of Lyra on the right hand side (see lines). Cygnus is sometimes also called the Northern Cross.

In mid of August the above field culminates at about 22:00 LT (10 pm). The declination of these constellations ranges from +25 to +61 degrees. The most prominent star is Vega, brightest star of Lyra with a visual magnitude of 0.04 mag. Deneb, visible in the upper left, is the brightest star of Cygnus with 1.26 mag. Together they form the famous summer triangle with the star Altair in the more southern constellation Aquila.

In the above field the milky way has its brightest parts of the entire northern sky. Rich star fields are intersected by dark lanes of dust. Especially the so called Cygnus Rift, visible on the left hand side, is a broad dark band where interstellar dust of the local spiral arm in our galaxy blocks starlight from behind. A large number of galactic deep sky objects join the above field. Most striking is the so called North America Nebula in the upper left.

© all photographs taken by Till Credner and Sven Kohle