Cygnus really is a truly stunning constellation, lying right across the Milky Way. It has emission nebulas, planetaries, clusters and is a constellation who, at least for me, does indeed look like its name, a swan. Here are a few images of some of the sights that I haven’t already covered:
Above is M29 an open cluster called “The Cooling Tower”. (Canon 20D Prime f10 on C6SGT – ISO1600 8mins in 11 subs). Alternatively referred to as NGC6913, this is a magnitude 7 object at a distance of between 4 – 7 thousand light years. I rather like this one, it’s well named and the variation of star colours make for an interesting sight.
This image is of NGC6888, “The Crescent Nebula”. (Canon 20D Prime f6.3 on C6SGT – ISO3200 39mins in 26 subs). At the heart of the crescent nebula there is a ‘Wolf-Rayet’ star. This is an unusual type of star that burns exceptionally hotly but consequently lives for only a short time. This star (HD192163 or WR136) is losing solar matter at an enormous rate and this is driven away by extremely strong solar winds. Ionising energy from the star causes this matter to ‘glow’. My image above needed considerably longer exposure, perhaps 2 or 3 hours. Hubble has taken stunning close up images of this shell of gas & matter being ripped apart by the strong solar winds; have a look.
This final image is of M39 another open cluster. (Canon 20D Prime f10 on C6SGT – ISO1600/3200 5.5 mins in 9 subs). This is a loose open cluster with a magnitude of 4.6 and at a distance of 825 light years. It is also referred to as NGC7092 and you may just spot it with a careful eye on a dark night.
I would like to return to Cygnus in the future and spend some more time enjoying the views that the Swan has to offer.