The stars offer a holiday decoration this evening: the Northern Cross, which is also known as Cygnus, the swan. Its brightest stars form the shape of a cross, which is in the west and northwest at nightfall.
Cygnus, the swan, soars high across the evening sky during summer, and really does resemble a graceful bird. Now, though, its bill points downward and its wings are almost parallel to the horizon. This angle has earned Cygnus a second name: the Northern Cross.