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Summer Constellations


Viewable from February - October

   The Name Ophiuchus means “the Serpent Bearer” in Greek. The constellation is associated with the figure of Asclepius, the famous healer in Greek mythology. It was one of the constellations first cataloged by the Greek astronomer Claudius Ptolemy in the 2nd century. This constellation can be viewed from February through October.


   Ophiuchus contains a number of notable stars, including Rasalhague, Barnard’s Star, and Kepler’s Supernova, and many famous deep sky objects, including the Twin Jet Nebula, the Little Ghost Nebula, the dark nebulae Barnard 68, the Pipe Nebula, the Snake Nebula, and the Dark Horse Nebula, and the globular clusters Messier 9 (NGC 6333, Messier 10 (NGC 6254), Messier 12 (NGC 6218), Messier 14 (NGC 6402), Messier 19 (NGC 6273), Messier 62 (NGC 6266), and Messier 107 (NGC 6177).


   Ophiuchus is the 11th largest constellation in the sky, occupying an area of 948 square degrees. It is one of the 15 equatorial constellations. The neighboring constellations are Aquila, Hercules, Libra, Sagittarius, Scorpius and Serpens.


   The brightest stars in the constellation are Rasalhague, Alpha Ophiuchi, with an apparent magnitude of 2.08. There are four meteor showers associated with the constellation: the Ophiuchids, the Northern May Ophiuchids, the Southern May Ophiuchids and the Theta Ophiuchids.


   The constellation contains 11 named stars officially approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). These are Barnard’s Star, Cebalrai, Guniibuu, Mahsati, Marfik, Rasalhague, Rosalíadecastro, Sabik, Timir, Yed Posterior, and Yed Prior.



   Cygnus is a prominent constellation in the northern sky and its name means "the Swan".  Cygnus is associated with the myth of Zeus in the Greek mythology, and was first catalogued by the Greek astronomy Ptolemy in the second century.


   Cygnus is also known as the Northern Cross and contains many notable objects such as Cygnus X-1, which is a famous x-ray source. Also, there are bright stars such as Deneb and Albireo, the dwarf Kepler-22, which hosts the exoplanet Kepler-22b, the Fireworks Galaxy (NGC 6946), and several well known nebula: the Cacoon Nebula (IC 5146), the Jewel Bug Nebula (NGC 7072), the Pelican Nebula (IC 5070), the North American Nebula (NGC 7000), the Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888), Sadr Region (IC 1318), and the Viel Nebula (NGC 6960, 6979, 6992, and 6995). 

   Cygnus is the 16th largest constellation in the night sky, occupying 804 square degrees. It lies in the fourth quadrant of the northern hemisphere (NQ4) and can be seen at latitudes between +90° and -40°. 

Viewable from April - December
from northern latitudes.


   Cygnus has 10 stars with known planets and contains two Messier objects: Messier 29 (NGC 6913) and Messier 39 (NGC 7092). The brightest stars in the constellation are Deneb, Alpha Cygni, which is also the 19th brightest star in the night sky with an apparent magnitude of 1.25. There are two meteor showers associated with Cygnus: the October Cygnets and the Kappa Cygnids.


   The constellation contains 6 named stars officially approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). These are Albireo, Aljanah, Azelfafage, Deneb, Fawaris, and Sadr. 


Brought to you by John Garcia - Astronomy-Watch.org.  2022