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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

May 30: Star Deneb belongs to a cross-like star pattern

Courtesy of EarthSky
A Clear Voice for Science

Here is the view toward the northeast in mid-evening in the month of May.

It is by looking in this direction that you can get a good look at Deneb: the bright star below and to the left of Vega on the sky’s dome.

Deneb is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. If you look at the pattern indicated on today’s chart, you might be able to imagine Deneb as the point marking the tail of a swan flying toward the south. This is how early Arabian stargazers saw it. The name Deneb comes from the Arabic and means “tail.”

However, there is another way to see this pattern of stars that works equally well. In more modern skylore, this pattern is sometimes called the Northern Cross, with Deneb marking the head of the Cross. Cross or Swan . . .this is a lovely pattern to pick out on the sky’s dome.

Written by EarthSky

Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL

CHANDRA Photo Album

U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information center

StarDate Online

Sky and Telescope

National Geographic

Space Com

Amazing Space

The York County Astronomical Society

Scope City

James S McDonnell Planetarium

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