61 Cygni -- Double Star in Cygnus
Red-Eyes for a Halloween Night
The double star 61 Cygni is one of my favorite doubles in the night sky. A pair of reddish-
orange eyes returns my stare through the eyepiece. Under low power when star-hoping,
the twin ruddy-looking eyes jumps out at you as they slide into view. Even now, after
observing them countless times before, they still invoke an element of surprise and
disbelieve when I first spot them.
The 61-Cygni is made up of a pair of old red-dwarf stars slowly moving around each
other every 678 or so years. One of the reasons that they stand out as unusual is because
red dwarfs are not bright stars – far dimmer than our sun. These red-eyed Dwarfs are so
striking because they are so close. Only 15 other star systems are closer to us than 61-
This double is almost straight overhead during the evening hours of the last week in
October. A Halloween treat one should not miss.