Summer skies are back! I shot this one late at night in Gouvy, Belgium last weekend.
Cygnus is a northern constellation with an abundance of deep-sky objects, open clusters, nebulae and supernovae due to its position on the plane of the Milky Way. Its name means 'swan' in Latin Greek. It is one of the most recognisable constellations of the northern #summer and autumn skies with a culmination at midnight on 29th June. It contains the prominent #asterism called the 'Northern Cross' and was among the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century #astronomer Ptolemy and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations.
In Hinduism, the period of time (Muhurta) between 4:24 AM to 5:12 AM is called the Brahmamuhurtha, an unpronounceable word meaning 'the moment of the Universe' - the star system in correlation is the Cygnus constellation. The belief is that this time is to be a great time to meditate and to start the day.
The most notable star in Cygnus is 'Deneb' ('tail' from 'dhaneb' in Arabic), one of the brightest stars (19th) in Earth's night sky and the most distant first-magnitude star we know. It's the swan's tail star and also one corner of the 'Summer Triangle'. Cygnus also hosts some notable X-ray sources and the giant stellar association of Cygnus OB2. Among the stars of this association, NML Cygni, is one of the largest stars we currently know about (roughly 1200 times larger than our sun). The constellation is also home to Cygnus X1, a distant X-ray binary star formation containing a supergiant and an unseen massive companion that was the first object widely held for a black hole. We also know about many star systems with known exoplanets within Cygnus since the Kepler Mission observes a patch of the sky around the swan.
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