Astronomy Picture of the Day

Central Cygnus

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Central Cygnus


Supergiant star Gamma Cygni lies at the center
of the Northern Cross, famous
in the constellation
the Swan

Known by the proper
name Sadr,
the bright star also lies at the
center of this gorgeous skyscape, featuring
a complex of
stars, dust clouds, and glowing nebulae along the
plane of our
Milky Way

The field of view spans over 3 degrees
(six Full Moons) on
the sky and
emission nebula IC 1318 and open star cluster NGC 6910.

Left of Gamma Cyg and shaped
like two glowing cosmic wings divided by a long dark
dust lane, IC 1318's popular name is understandably the
Butterfly Nebula.

Above and left of Gamma Cyg, are the young, still tightly
stars of NGC 6910.

Some distance estimates for Gamma Cyg place it at around 750 light-years
while estimates for IC 1318 and
NGC 6910
range from 2,000 to 5,000 light-years.

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