SH034 – Find The Coathanger, The Veil Nebula, and the North American Nebula

In Episode SH034 of Star Hopping…

We’ll be exploring the Cygnus region, and we’ll use our star hopping methods to find the The Coathanger (Brocchi’s Cluster), The Veil Nebula (NGC 6960), and the North American Nebula (NGC 7000).


Well as June approaches, we are seeing the bright Summer Triangle appearing well above our eastern horizon. The three bright stars that compose this huge asterism are Vega in Lyra, Deneb in Cygnus, and Altair in Aquila. We used Altair a couple times as a starting point in last week’s episode, and this week, our home base will be Deneb, the brightest star in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan. Cygnus is also known as the “Northern Cross” with Deneb defining the head of the cross, Sadr lying at the center of the cross, with the arms of the cross stretching our upwards and downwards, and the foot of the cross being the bright multicolored double star, Alberio.

At midnight at the beginning of June, Deneb is some 25 degrees up in the eastern sky, standing out in the crowd, shining at magnitude 1.3. We’ll traverse the entire length of the swan to it’s head, to find our first target, right after this break…

Get the rest of the script along with the images and star charts in the Field Notes Guide for this episode!

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Credits for this Episode

  • Star Chart Images & Simulations Courtesy of SkySafari Astronomy
  • Closeup Alberio image by Palomar Observatory
  • Veil Nebula image by NOAO
  • Brocchi’s Cluster image by the Celestial Image Company

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