DR. SKY BLOG

It’s not a Thanksgiving turkey in the sky – that’s Cygnus the Swan

Nov 23, 2022, 2:00 PM

(Pixabay Photos)...

(Pixabay Photos)

(Pixabay Photos)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Let me share some holiday cheer after you indulge in the big meal: The night sky awaits your attention as the moon now is at or past the phase we call new moon.

That simply is the best time to view the fainter sky objects which are normally covered or obscured by the light of the moon.

From a dark and clear sky, you have an interesting constellation to view in place of another bird – the turkey.

Turn your attention to the northwest after sunset and some 35 degrees high in that area. This is the region of the sky which has a large band of the Milky Way visible for your viewing pleasure.

A pair of binoculars will help to really get the most out of your adventure.

This is the constellation are of Cygnus, the Swan. This very old constellation is, in some ways, reminiscent of the holiday bird, the turkey.

The name Cygnus comes from the Latinized Greek word for swan.

The magic of the story of Cygnus is outlined here.

To help you identify the star fields of Cygnus, we offer up this detailed star chart.

The classic artwork of what Cygnus looks like in the night sky is seen here.

Cygnus is in a very rich star field of the Milky Way and there are literally millions of stars seen in this constellation.

To many, Cygnus is also known as the asterism of stars known as the Northern Cross.

The brightest of the stars in Cygnus is the blue super giant star, Deneb.

Deneb is a super blue-white super giant star which lies 2,615 light years from Earth. The luminosity of Deneb is 196,000 times that of our sun. Deneb is close to the north celestial pole and it will become the nearest star to the celestial pole in 9800 AD.

If we were to move Deneb as close as 25 light years from us, we would not have a night as we know it – it is that bright.

There are many objects to view in Cygnus with a moderate-sized telescope and dark skies.

We offer up a detailed listing of these objects.

We have selected Cygnus as the closest replica of the turkey, but did you know that of the entire sky’s constellations, there are nine different types of fowl in the sky?

Here is the rest of that story.

So, as you look for something to do after the tryptophan of the turkey kicks in, stay awake and look for another type of bird in the sky – Cygnus!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

To print your own monthly star chart, click here.

To view satellites/dates/times of passage, click here.

Listen to the Dr. Sky Show on KTAR News 92.3 FM every Saturday at 3 a.m.

Podcasts are available here.

Dr. Sky Blog

(Pixabay Photo)...

Steve Kates

In February, skywatchers will see beautiful full snow moon, maybe even a comet

Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) is streaking along our skies. If you want to see it, grab a pair of binoculars or a telescope.

1 year ago

This split image shows the difference between an active sun during solar maximum (on the left, capt...

Steve Kates

Hot news: Solar Cycle 25 is ramping up the sky show in 2023

The sun is now in the process of showing us its real power during the long-awaited Solar Cycle 25.

1 year ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Steve Kates

Sirius: The brightest star in the night sky comes into view

Our January night sky offers up some really amazing sights and some include viewing that brightest star in the sky in remote locations.

1 year ago

(Pixabay Photo)...

Steve Kates

New comet to streak across skies before end of January

Get set for a new comet coming our way! Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF can be viewed with binoculars in the early morning sky later this month.

1 year ago

(Pixabay Photo)...

Steve Kates

Why we kiss under the mistletoe, tracking Santa and other holiday rituals

As we celebrate the holidays and Christmas, we look for some time to relax with loved ones and enjoy many of the traditions that have come from the distant past!

2 years ago

(Pixabay Photo)...

Steve Kates

Sky events to look forward to in 2023 include a rare eclipse and meteor showers

We've got a new year to look forward to great events in our skies after a terrific 2022.

2 years ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

It’s not a Thanksgiving turkey in the sky – that’s Cygnus the Swan