A Field Book of the Stars/Cygnus
CYGNUS (sig'-nus)—THE SWAN, OR THE NORTHERN CROSS.
Location.—The star (α) or Deneb, the brightest star in Cygnus, is at the top of the cross, and a little over 20 degrees east of Vega. It forms a triangle with Vega and Altair in Aquila—Altair being at the apex, about 35 degrees from Deneb and Vega.
The star (β) or Albireo is at the base of the cross, and a line drawn from Vega to Altair nearly touches it.
(β) is a beautiful colored double for a small telescope.
Note "61," the second nearest star to us. It was the first star whose distance was measured. If the distance from the earth to the sun equals one inch, the earth to "61" equals 7½ miles.
(ο) is a double. There is a little star near it.
Half way from Albireo to the stars (ζ) and (ε) in Aquila is a group of six or seven stars in a straight row, with a garland of other stars hanging from the centre.
The cross is nearly perfect and easily traced out. It lies almost wholly in the Milky Way.
Note "The Coal Sack," the dark gap in the Milky Way.
Cygnus contains an unusual number of deeply colored stars.