JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN SANFORD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Great Rift in the Milky Way. The Great Rift is the name given to the prominent dark lane running through the bright Milky Way, from upper left to lower right. It is due to huge clouds of dust blocking the light from the more distant Milky Way. The Milky Way is our own galaxy seen from within, which gives it the appearance of a band of light crossing the sky. The rift is in the region of the constellations Aquila and Cygnus, which are best seen in the summer in the northern hemisphere.
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