Cygnus (sĭgˈnəs) [key] [Lat., = the swan], northern constellation located SE of Draco and NW of Pegasus. It was depicted as a bird by most ancient cultures. It is sometimes called the Northern Cross because five of its brightest stars form a huge Latin cross. Its most famous star is Deneb, at the head of the cross, forming a large triangle with Vega in Lyra and Altair in Aquila. Cygnus reaches its highest point in the evening sky in September.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Constellations

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