Gamma Cygni, September 2, 2008. One of the brightest stars in the constellation Cygnus the Swan, gamma Cygni is also known by the name Sadr. Cygnus is one of the few constellations that actually looks like its name. The word Sadr is Arabic for "chest" since this star is located in the mid-section of the swan shape as it glides through the Milky Way. High overhead on summer nights, this is a wonderful region to explore with binoculars or a wide field telescope.
Immense clouds of glowing hydrogen gas and light blocking dust are found in the region, which show up as reddish clouds, and dark pathways in the photograph. To the left of gamma Cygni, near the edge of the photograph is a clump of stars called M29. It's difficult to understand why Messier decided to catalogue this particular, unimpressive star cluster in the midst of this dense, star filled part of the Milky Way.
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