I was looking through the Google Sky map, when an object caught my eye:

Object at 43.91785094791645 latitude, -223.85801669893698 longitude

I am really curious as to what this is (just a big star? then why does it look so peculiar?)

It's hard to search for online because I don't know which words to use. If anyone can point me in the right directon please?


It's a star with pretty strong diffraction spikes.
To find out which one it is, you can just look up its coordinates in databases like SIMBAD. Then you find that it is the star Xi Cygni. You can also find some information on it on Wikipedia.

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Looks more like a ton of false-color and possibly self-diffraction rings from circular aperture. $\endgroup$ Aug 30 '19 at 13:01
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Following the SIMBAD link to the Aladin Lite view, PanSTARRS/DR1 is a nice alternate. Google Sky looks like DSS2 + DSS2/blue. $\endgroup$
    – Mike G
    Aug 30 '19 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft thank you, learning about diffraction spikes is exactly what I was looking for without knowing what I was looking for. $\endgroup$ Sep 2 '19 at 12:43

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