Daily Archives: January 20, 2015

From Sadr to NGC 6888


Gamma Cygni (γ Cyg, γ Cygni) is the Bayer designation for a star in the northern constellation Cygnus, forming the intersection of an asterism of five stars called the Northern Cross. It has the traditional name Sadr (also spelled Sadir or Sador), which name comes from the Arabic word صدر şadr, “chest”, the same word which gave rise to the star Schedar (Alpha Cassiopeiae). In the catalogue of stars in the Calendarium of Al Achsasi al Mouakket, this star was designated Sadr al Dedjadjet, (صدرألدجاجة-şadr aldajaaja), which was translated into Latin as Pectus Gallinǣ, meaning the hen’s chest.

The Crescent Nebula (also known as NGC 6888, Caldwell 27, Sharpless 105) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, about 5000 light-years away. It was discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in 1792. It is formed by the fast stellar wind from the Wolf-Rayet star WR 136 (HD 192163) colliding with and energizing the slower moving wind ejected by the star when it became a red giant around 250,000 to 400,000 years ago. The result of the collision is a shell and two shock waves, one moving outward and one moving inward. The inward moving shock wave heats the stellar wind to X-ray-emitting temperatures.

It is a rather faint object located about 2 degrees SW of Sadr. For most telescopes it requires a UHC or OIII filter to see. Under favorable circumstances a telescope as small as 8cm (with filter) can see its nebulosity. Larger telescopes (20cm or more) reveal the crescent or a Euro sign shape which makes some to call it the “Euro sign nebula”.

Resolution: 2732×4754
Dates: Dec. 8, 2014
Integration: 0.0 hours
Avg. Moon age: 16.22 days
Avg. Moon phase: 97.62%
RA center: 304.568 degrees
DEC center: 39.629 degrees
Pixel scale: 2.750 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: -114.070 degrees
Field radius: 2.094 degrees
Author: Giuseppe Donatiello