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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Cygnus \Cyg"nus\ (s?g"n?s), n. [L., a swan.] (Astron.) A constellation of the northern hemisphere east of, or following, Lyra; the Swan.


n. 1 (context constellation English) A summer constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble a swan. It includes the triple star system HD 188753 and the stars Deneb and Albireo. 2 (context Greek mythology English) A king of the Ligurians and relative of Phaeton who was transformed into a swan and placed in the sky as a constellation.

Cygnus (constellation)

Cygnus is a northern constellation lying on the plane of the Milky Way, deriving its name from the Latinized Greek word for swan. The swan is one of the most recognizable constellations of the northern summer and autumn, it features a prominent asterism known as the Northern Cross (in contrast to the Southern Cross). Cygnus was among the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations.

Cygnus contains Deneb, one of the brightest stars in the night sky and one corner of the Summer Triangle, as well as some notable X-ray sources and the giant stellar association of Cygnus OB2. One of the stars of this association, NML Cygni, is one of the largest stars currently known. The constellation is also home to Cygnus X-1, a distant X-ray binary containing a supergiant and unseen massive companion that was the first object widely held to be a black hole. Many star systems in Cygnus have known planets as a result of the Kepler Mission observing one patch of the sky, the patch is the area around Cygnus. In addition, most of the eastern part of Cygnus is dominated by the Hercules–Corona Borealis Great Wall, a giant galaxy filament that is the largest known structure in the observable universe; covering most of the northern sky.


Cygnus is the Latin word for swan, the romanized form of the ancient Greek κύκνος (kyknos) "swan". It may refer to:

Cygnus (spacecraft)

The Cygnus spacecraft is an American automated cargo spacecraft developed by Orbital ATK as part of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) developmental program. It is launched by Orbital's Antares rocket or Atlas V and is designed to transport supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) following the retirement of the American Space Shuttle. Since August 2000 ISS resupply missions have been regularly flown by Russian Progress (spacecraft), as well as by the European Automated Transfer Vehicle, and the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle. With the Cygnus spacecraft and the SpaceX Dragon, NASA seeks to increase its partnerships with domestic commercial aviation and aeronautics industry.

Cygnus is the Latinized Greek word for swan and a northern constellation.

Cygnus (Chinese astronomy)

According to traditional Chinese uranography, the modern constellation Cygnus is located within the northern quadrant of the sky, which is symbolized as the The Black Tortoise of the North (北方玄武, Běi Fāng Xuán Wǔ).

The name of the western constellation in modern Chinese is 天鵝座 (tiān é zuò), meaning "the swan constellation".

Usage examples of "cygnus".

The Astronautical Council had shortly before completed preparations for the reception of visitors from the planets of not too distant stars in the Ophiuchus, Cygnus, Ursa Major and Apus constellations.

Cygnus planet, a sooty ball which was crowding Callisto on the elliptical orbit which intersected the path of its own former moon.

Cygnus, where long, wispy nebulæ, billions of miles in length, some of them looking like tresses streaming in a breeze, lie amid fields of stars which seem related to them.

Northwest lies Fomalhaut Kingdom, and south of it stretch the kingdoms of Lyra, Cygnus, Polaris and others, most of these being allied to the Empire.

Hercules Barons, to the kingdoms of Polaris and Cygnus, even to Fomalhaut Kingdom.

Kingdoms of Polaris, of Cygnus, of Perseus and of Cassiopeia, and of the Baronies of Hercules Cluster.

But, as it passed through Cygnus and Aquila, that band of light seemed to split into two, twin streams separated by a dark gap.

Cygnus, then broadens in Aquila, sweeping wider through Serpens and Opiuchus.

We are seeing a band of dust as it comes from the distance in Cygnus, passing closest to the Sun in Aquila and Opiuchus.

It was conceivable that prior to departing they might have voted to leave behind anything that would remind them of the Cygnus, including uniforms.

When the Sector arrives, they set up upon a Bluff overlooking Monon-gahela, and watch the Culmination of Stars in Lyra and Cygnus, correcting for seconds plus and minus of Aberration, Deviation, Precession, and Refraction, whilst in Cabins nearby the Wives of the new-hir'd Axmen gather, and those Axmen who may, come thro', and out the back, to take White Maize Whiskey out of a Tin Cup.

At present Earth's celestial pole points to Polaris, but 4000 years ago it pointed at Deneb in Cygnus (the Egyptians painted pictures inside the pyramids showing Deneb as the North Star.

Among the objects to be examined were the vicinity of Sagittarius A at the center of the Galaxy, and the great extragalactic radio source, Cygnus A.

Jim smiled slightly at Deneb, then let his eyes drift on northward through the base of the Triangle, following the faint band of the Milky Way and the Galactic Equator through Cygnus into Lacerta, Cassiopeia, Andromeda.

The whole cohort now remained at a standstill, and as the torches faded I watched what I thought were fantastic shadows outlined in the sky by the spectral luminosity of the Via Lactea as it flowed through Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Cygnus.