How well do you know Cygnus the Swan?

Bird is the Word

Today we have five questions, so we will take five minutes to complete the quiz today.

With that in mind, ladies and gentlemen, please get out a clean sheet of paper and a No. 2 pencil and prepare for today’s Astronomy Pop Quiz.

DMG procedures and expectations apply; 1) if you find a mistake, please let me know, and b) do your best.

The topic today: the constellation Cygnus


You have five minutes to complete the quiz.  Begin now.

  1. What star name means “tail” in Arabic?

    Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.06.18 AM
    Cygnus the Swan
  2. Beta Cygni is really a double star. Can you name it?

  1. NGC 7000 is one of the best examples of a bright nebula. What is the popular name for this cloud shaped vaguely like a continent?

  1. M 39 is a loose Open Cluster in Cygnus that was apparently seen by Aristotle. For what does the “M” stand?

  1. SS Cygni is a faint star in Cygnus. The prefix “SS” tells us something important about this star. What?

Extra Credit: Name a bird constellation observers in the USA can not see.

OK, pencils down. Let’s trade with a neighbor and check one another. Here are the correct answers and your “neighbor” who got the correct answer on my Periscope broadcast on August 27, from 8:00 am (eastern US) to 9:00.

Help Make the World a Better Place!

On my Periscope broadcast any player who is the first to give the correct answer to a question is a winner. Winners who make a contribution to one of my charities in the next 30 days will have their gift matched by me up to $100. My charities are listed on my blog.     Tell the charity to contact me about your contribution.

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.09.28 AM
Charity Spotlight.  Give till it feels good.

Link here to my blog “An Island in the Sea of Mystery.”

Play with us during the next live broadcast of

“Let’s talk astronomy” this coming Monday beginning at 8 am eastern US time on Periscope.

Periscope is a live video streaming app for Android and iOS available in the App Store.Screen shot 2015-12-28 at 8.16.26 PM

On Monday, August 27, 2018, our Periscope Trivia Contest was about the constellation Cygnus.

The questions are given above, the correct answers and the winners are given below.

Congratulations to all winners and thank-you to all participants.

Play live on Let’s talk astronomy” 8 am on Mondays.

Correct Answers……..Periscope Winners:

  1. Deneb………. @arnoldrimmer: Alpha Cygni is the brightest star in the constellation Cygnus. At 1.25 magnitude, it is also the 2oth brightest star in our night sky. It’s stellar type A2 which indicates a very hot star with a lot of mass.

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.05.37 AM
from Stellarium
  1. Albireo…….. @arnoldrimmer: Beta Cygni A is magnitude 3.1 and B is 5.1. A is a nice yellow and B is blue.

  1. The North American Nebula….………@speear40: This wonderful emission nebula appears 120 arcminutes by 110 arcminutes. Use a filter and low power when observing thru a telescope.

  1. Messier…………….@rigsadsege: (Replay shows I was initially wrong declaring the winner for this question.  Sorry Melissa.  My mistake.) . Charles Messier mad a list to help his comet-hunting friends avoid mistaken announcements. He discovered 15 comets.

  1. Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.11.24 AM
    I am a member of the AAVSO. Link here.

    Variable star……… winner: Variable stars were thought to be rare, so when the labeling pattern was invented, scientists thought they would find just a few per constellation. The first in a constellation would be named R , such as R Coronae Borealis. The next would be S, and on until Z. Nine reserved designations seemed they would be enough, but no, it wasn’t.



Extra Credit:

Apus…………..@usaspcpi: The Bird of Paradise.  Did you get this correct?  the replay did not show it, but I said your name!

Screen Shot 2018-09-02 at 10.13.07 AM

Thanks goes out to all participants, and Congratulations to everyone who got one right.

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