Pasachoff, Jay M. Hopkins Observatory, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:November 2019
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The Swan, a large constellation lying prominently along the northern Milky Way (see illustration). It contains the stars that define the asterism (star pattern) known as the Northern Cross. Near Deneb, its brightest star and the nineteenth brightest star in the sky, the North America Nebula shows its glowing gas and dark outlining dust. Deneb marks the swan's tail while Albireo, a double star whose components beautifully contrast in color, marks the swan's head. Deneb in Cygnus, Vega in Lyra, and Altair in Aquila make the “summer triangle.” See also: Lyra
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