The Cygnus War: Downfall Arc (#3)

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Cygnus also contains several other noteworthy X-ray sources. Cygnus X-3 is a microquasar containing a Wolf—Rayet star in orbit around a very compact object, [25] with a period of only 4. The system also emits cosmic rays and gamma rays , and has helped shed insight on to the formation of such rays. Cygnus is also home to several variable stars.

SS Cygni is a dwarf nova which undergoes outbursts every 7—8 days. The system's total magnitude varies from 12th magnitude at its dimmest to 8th magnitude at its brightest. The two objects in the system are incredibly close together, with an orbital period of less than 0. It ranges between magnitudes 3. P Cygni is a luminous blue variable that brightened suddenly to 3rd magnitude in AD.

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Since , the star has been of 5th magnitude, [41] despite being more than light-years from Earth. The star's spectrum is unusual in that it contains very strong emission lines resulting from surrounding nebulosity. It has a maximum magnitude of 5. It is one of largest stars currently known in the galaxy with a radius exceeding 1, solar radii. Cygnus contains the binary star system KIC It is predicted that the two stars will coalesce in about , briefly forming a new naked-eye object. Cygnus is one of the constellations that the Kepler satellite surveyed in its search for extrasolar planets , and as a result, there are about a hundred stars in Cygnus with known planets, the most of any constellation.

With a spectral type of G6V, the star is somewhat cooler than the Sun. The planets are very close to the star; all but the last planet are closer to Kepler than Mercury is to the Sun, and all the planets are more massive than Earth. The planet is somewhat similar to Jupiter , but with slightly more mass and a more eccentric orbit. There is an abundance of deep-sky objects , with many open clusters , nebulae of various types and supernova remnants found in Cygnus due to its position on the Milky Way. Some open clusters can be difficult to make out from a rich background of stars.

M39 NGC is an open cluster light-years from Earth that is visible to the unaided eye under dark skies. It is loose, with about 30 stars arranged over a wide area; their conformation appears triangular. The brightest stars of M39 are of the 7th magnitude. The brightest of these are two gold-hued stars, which represent the bottom of the toy it is named for. A larger amateur instrument reveals 8 more stars, nebulosity to the east and west of the cluster, and a diameter of 9 arcminutes. The nebulosity in this region is part of the Gamma Cygni Nebula. The other stars, approximately light-years from Earth, are mostly blue-white and very hot.

Dolidze 9, light-years from Earth and relatively young at 20 million light-years old, is a faint open cluster with up to 22 stars visible in small and medium-sized amateur telescopes. Nebulosity is visible to the north and east of the cluster, which is 7 arcminutes in diameter. The brightest star appears in the eastern part of the cluster and is of the 7th magnitude; another bright star has a yellow hue.

Dolidze 11 is an open cluster million years old, farthest away of the three at light-years.

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More than 10 stars are visible in an amateur instrument in this cluster, of similar size to Dolidze 9 at 7 arcminutes in diameter, whose brightest star is of magnitude 7. It, too, has nebulosity in the east. Collinder is a particularly old open cluster at an age of approximately 1 billion years; it is of magnitude The prominent star in the north of the cluster has a golden color, whereas the stars in the south of the cluster appear orange.

Collinder appears to be embedded in nebulosity, which extends past the cluster's borders to its west. Berkeley 90 is a smaller open cluster, with a diameter of 5 arcminutes.

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More than 16 members appear in an amateur telescope. It appears to "blink" in the eyepiece of a telescope because its central star is unusually bright [55] 10th magnitude. The North America Nebula NGC is one of the most well-known nebulae in Cygnus, because it is visible to the unaided eye under dark skies, as a bright patch in the Milky Way. However, its characteristic shape is only visible in long-exposure photographs — it is difficult to observe in telescopes because of its low surface brightness.

It has low surface brightness because it is so large; at its widest, the North America Nebula is 2 degrees across. Illuminated by a hot embedded star of magnitude 6, NGC is light-years from Earth. To the south of Epsilon Cygni is the Veil Nebula NGC , , , , and , a 5,year-old supernova remnant covering approximately 3 degrees of the sky - [56] it is over 50 light-years long.

However, the brightest portion, NGC , is faintly visible in binoculars, and a dimmer portion, NGC , is visible in wide-angle telescopes. The DR 6 cluster is also nicknamed the "Galactic Ghoul" because of the nebula's resemblance to a human face; [57]. DWB 87 is another of the many bright emission nebulae in Cygnus, 7.

It is in the Gamma Cygni area. Two other emission nebulae include Sharpless and Sharpless When viewed in an amateur telescope, Sharpless 2— appears to be in a teardrop shape. More of the nebula's eastern portion is visible with an O III doubly ionized oxygen filter. There is an orange star of magnitude 10 nearby and a star of magnitude 9 near the nebula's northwest edge. Further to the northwest, there is a dark rift and another bright patch.


The whole nebula measures 15 arcminutes in diameter. Sharpless 2— is another emission nebula with a complex pattern of light and dark patches. Two pairs of stars appear in the nebula; it is larger near the southwestern pair. The open cluster Berkeley 90 is embedded in this large nebula, which measures 30 by 20 arcminutes. In recent years, amateur astronomers have made some notable Cygnus discoveries. The " Soap bubble nebula " PN G In , Austrian amateur Matthias Kronberger discovered a planetary nebula Kronberger 61 , now nicknamed "The Soccer Ball" on old survey photos, confirmed recently in images by the Gemini Observatory; both of these are likely too faint to be detected by eye in a small amateur scope.

But a much more obscure and relatively 'tiny' object—one which is readily seen in dark skies by amateur telescopes, under good conditions—is the newly discovered nebula likely reflection type associated with the star 4 Cygni HD : an approximately fan-shaped glowing region of several arcminutes' diameter, to the south and west of the fifth-magnitude star. It was first discovered visually near San Jose, California and publicly reported by amateur astronomer Stephen Waldee in , and was confirmed photographically by Al Howard in California amateur astronomer Dana Patchick also says he detected it on the Palomar Observatory survey photos in but had not published it for others to confirm and analyze at the time of Waldee's first official notices and later paper.

Cygnus X is the largest star-forming region in the Solar neighborhood and includes not only some of the brightest and most massive stars known such as Cygnus OB , but also Cygnus OB2 , a massive stellar association classified by some authors as a young globular cluster. Cygnus A is the first radio galaxy discovered; at a distance of million light-years from Earth, it is the closest powerful radio galaxy.


In the visible spectrum , it appears as an elliptical galaxy in a small cluster. It is classified as an active galaxy because the supermassive black hole at its nucleus is accreting matter, which produces two jets of matter from the poles. The jets' interaction with the interstellar medium creates radio lobes, one source of radio emissions.

Cygnus is also the apparent source of the WIMP -wind due to the orientation of the solar system's rotation through the galactic halo. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Constellation in the northern celestial hemisphere. List of stars in Cygnus. See also: Cygnus in Chinese astronomy. See also: List of stars in Cygnus. Astronomy portal Space portal. The Guardian.

Constellation Guide. Popular Astronomy. Bibcode : PA The Constellations.

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Retrieved 9 December Sebastopol, California: O'Reilly Media. Jason Lisle The Stargazer's Guide to the Night Sky. New Leaf Publishing Group. Retrieved 3 March American Association of Variable Star Observers. Retrieved 22 December Retrieved 15 January Retrieved 30 July Archived from the original on 14 December Retrieved 31 December The Astrophysical Journal. Bibcode : ApJ Astronomy and Astrophysics. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Physical Review Letters. Bibcode : PhRvL..

Physics Letters B. Bibcode : PhLB.. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist.

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