Centered on Deneb in Cygnus


I took this deep space astrophotography image of the maelstrom that is Cygnus, the scorched path of Phaethon’s disastrous ride. This image is centered on the star Deneb in the constellation Cygnus the Swan. 

In mythology Cycnus later Cygnus was a devoted friend of Phaethon, the mortal son of Helios, the charioteer of the Sun.  Phaethon was a bold and headstrong teenager, and like most teenagers, he thought he knew more than his “Old-Man.” 

One night his bold nature got the better of him, and despite the advice of his friend Cycnus, and the warnings of his father, Phaethon took out the family car for a bit of a joy ride.  The trouble was, the family car was the Sun Chariot and its horsepower was provided by real horses, Phaethon realized very quickly that his joy ride was a mistake, but it was too late.  The horses that pulled the Sun Chariot were strong and wild, and only the strength of Helios could control them.  Phaethon’s wild ride took him dangerously close to the vault of the heavens and threatened to singe the earth and destroy the inhabitants of both.  Cycnus pleaded with Jupiter to stop this destruction, and with all of the creation endangered, Jupiter sent a thunderbolt toward the rampaging chariot and its occupant.  With a terrible explosion, Phaethon was thrown from the chariot and the fiery steeds were stopped long enough for Helios to gain control and guide them back to their stables.  Phaethon, being mortal could not survive the force of a thunderbolt and fell to earth like a shooting star, his charred and lifeless remains landed in the river Eridanus.

Cycnus could not leave his friend to the creatures of the river to feed on and wanted to give Phaethon a proper burial.  Cycnus dove repeatedly into the river to gather the charred remains of his friend.  Jupiter, watching this selfless display of devotion was moved, and when Cycnus had completed his task of love and honor.  Jupiter decided to give Cycnus a gift of immortality and changed his name to Cygnus and him into a glorious swan.  This swan would be placed forever in the heavens amidst the scorched path of Phaethon’s disastrous ride, the Milky Way.

I got a new mount, and after the predictable violent storm that accompanies new equipment, I got a chance to try out my new iOptron CEM-60EC. After a bit of polar alignment with just a polar scope, I was able to get 3-minute unguided subs with just the tiniest bit of shift, maybe a pixel or two.

So 63 images a little over 3 hours of exposure, darks, bias, and flats applied. 85mm Zeiss Otus lens.

It’s darker than I normally do deep space stuff and a bit more vibrant. 

So what do you think? I want to hear from you guys, brighter or is this good?

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