The Cygnus Fairy Ring – Asterism In Cygnus

The following pencil sketch was made by the writer, using a 10-inch reflector @ 57x with a 1.1º true field of view, a blank 5 x 8 notecard with the colors inverted using a scanner.  Only a No. 2 pencil and an eraser were used.         

Scanned Image 160890002

The Cygnus Fairy Ring as viewed with a 10-inch f/4.5 reflector on August 13, 2015.  Transparency was poor due to very high humidity, but seeing was excellent.

The asterism was easy to locate and see using a 32mm eyepiece @ 36x with a 1.8º FOV.  The most recognizable member of the group is double star H1470 with the primary being a ruddy or rust color.

When increasing the magnification, using a 20mm eyepiece @ 57x with a 1.1º FOV, I could see at least eight or more separate pairs of double stars making a circle.   

While taking a bicycle ride just the other day (August 6th 2020) I came across a yard with a true 360º Fairy Ring, and  just had to stop to take this photo.   Roger Ivester


There is much folklore, especially from ancient Europe, concerning those that venture into a Fairy Ring…with some being transported to another world.  

I thought about getting off my bike, and walking into the ring, but needed to get home, and was not interested in finding myself in another world or dimension, never to be seen or heard from again!   See one of “the lighter warnings” below… Roger 

“DO NOT” Step Into the Ring!  

It is generally felt that fairy circles are to be avoided as dangerous places as they’re associated with malevolent beings.

If you dare to enter a ring, many myths warn you will die young. You also become invisible to the mortal world, unable to escape the ring, or you are transported instantly to the fairy realm. You might also lose an eye for your foolishness. Either way, you will be forced to dance around the ring until you die of exhaustion or madness!

"Plucked from the Fairy Circle" A man saves his friend from the grip of a fairy ring.

“Plucked from the Fairy Circle” A man saves his friend from the grip of a fairy ring.  Public Domain

To avoid this terrible, cavorting fate, you can take specific measures, such as running around the ring nine times (nine times only, as 10 is too many and will undo the procedure). It is said that to enter the ring without penalty you can run around the ring during a full moon, but only in the direction the sun travels during the day.  If you do this, you might hear the fairies dancing underground. 

September 13th, 2022: From my backyard, just couldn’t resist “stepping into the ring.”

I was able to walk out of the ring, all on my own, and after two hours, no adverse reactions.

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