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Constellations Visible in Canadian Skies
Select a constellation from the list below to learn more:
Ursa Minor and Ursa Major
Cygnus flies south along the band of the Milky Way galaxy and is sometimes referred to as the Northern Cross.
Phaethon bragged to his friends that Helios, the Greek god of the Sun, was his father. To prove this, he asked Helios if he could drive the Sun chariot across the sky for a day. Helios said yes, but gave his son some advice about how to drive the chariot. Phaethon, however, didn't listen and lost control, burning a streak across the sky, which we now see as the Milky Way. Phaethon then fell from the sky and landed in a river. His friend Cygnus jumped in to save him, but it was too late. Cygnus was so overcome with grief that he also died. Helios felt sorry for Cygnus and put him in the sky as a swan.
Deneb the star at the end of the swan, is 63,000 times brighter that the Sun. As the 18th brightest star in our skies, Deneb literally means "bottom of the hen" in Arabic. Deneb is part of the "Summer Triangle" along with Vega and Altair. If you point a telescope to the head of Cygnus a star called Albireo, you will see two very different coloured stars in the same field of view.