Cygnus

Kelsey A.; Lydia Z.; Cassie B. Period 4

Mythology

Cygnus was once the son of Sthenele and a close friend of Phaethon, who tried to drive the chariot of the sun and died in the attempt. Cygnus was consumed by his sadness and grief. These are words said in the folklore that describe how Cygnus transformed:


'As he mourned, his voice became thin and shrill, and white feathers hid his hair. His neck grew long, stretching out from his breast, his fingers reddened and a membrane joined them together. Wings clothed his sides, and a blunt beak fastened on his mouth. Cygnus became a new kind of bird; but he put no faith in the skies, or in Jupiter, for he remembered how the god had unjustly hurled his flaming bolt. Instead, Cygnus made for the marshes and broad lakes, and in his hatred of flames chose to inhabit the rivers, which are the very antithesis of fire.'

Visibility

Cygnus is best seen, at midnight, from early April to mid-November. The month where it's most clearly seen is September. It can be partially seen during all months of the year, but is entirely visible during the summer months.

Information

This constellation consists of nine main stars. Fifty-seven of the total stars have planets that orbit them. The brightest star in Cygnus is Alpha Cygni, more commonly referred to as Deneb. The nearest star to earth is 61 Cygni. There is at least one super-giant star, which is called Gamma Cygni (Sadr).

The total area of Cygnus is 804 square degrees.