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Night Sky: Look Northeast For Deneb

21 May 2020, 6:30 am

[Original story by EarthSky.org]

If you’ve run out of ideas of what to do while remaining at home, we have a suggestion tonight!

Actually, we encourage this every night: Look up!

After sunset, go outdoors (with all responsibly-safe measures) and take a glance to the northeast. You may spot a couple of bright stars. The one we’re highlighting in this article is the star Deneb. This star is on the left side of the constellation Cygnus the Swan. It is the brightest star in this constellation and the name is of Arabic language. It means tail and refers to the Tail of the Swan as seen by Arabian stargazers, according to EarthSky.

A representation of Cygnus the Swan courtesy EarthSky.org

Deneb is one of the brightest stars we can see with the naked eye. Astronomers estimate that it’s more than 1,000 light years away. Think about that. The shine from that star you see tonight started on its trek toward Earth 1,000+ years ago!

The constellation Cygnus the Swan was originally referred to by Arabian stargazers whereas the head of the swan was the right side of the picture above, the tail being Deneb.

Deneb is part of the “Summer Triangle asterism” according to EarthSky. The two other stars, Vega and Altair, form the other ends of it. According to EarthSky, the star Altair is not visible (as of this writing) but is the last
of these three stars to rise. It will be visible next month (June).

Enjoy the night sky safely tonight, and every night for that matter!

Featured [file] image courtesy Mary Reed Runyon

About the author
Summer of 1993, New England Dragway. That's when and where Steve knew he wanted to become a meteorologist. More than 20 years later he is extremely fortunate and blessed to be able to live his childhood dream. As a lover of math and science, Steve had a consistent interest in weather in elementary, middle, and high school before discovering you can major in meteorology. He attended Lyndon State Co... Load Morellege in Vermont where he received a bachelor's in meteorology-broadcasting and associate's in television news. He has worked as a meteorologist and reporter in Winchester, VA, Burlington, VT, and most recently in West Palm Beach, FL. He's recognized by the American Meteorological Society with the Certification of Broadcast Meteorologists.

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