North American & Pelican Nebulas

My photographic exploration of the constellation Cygnus continues…

ngc7000-240807-b2c-3wfrm  Click image for larger version …

Click on the image to see a larger version.

This image shows NGC7000 ‘The North American Nebula’, and IC5070 ‘The Pelican Nebula {incl. IC5067}. These 2 emission nebulae are part of a significant cloud of interstellar gas. The red colour is caused by hydrogen that is being ionised by radiation from a star (possibly Deneb?). This emission is from the Hydrogen alpha line and is therefore seen as red. The shapes of the nebulae are partly due to this ionised hydrogen cloud but also due to a dark cloud of interstellar dust that lies between the nebula and ourselves, blocking out the visibility of some areas.

The image was taken with a piggybacked Canon 20D and Canon 100-400L lens.

Exposure details as follows: fl=235mm ISO1600 f5.6 1hr 30mins 30sec in 30 subs.

Here is a close-up exert of the Pelican Nebula:

Pelican Nebula IC5070

Amazing how bird like it is really. As is fairly obvious the names for these nebulae come from their rather distinctive shapes; in front of the pelican’s beak is a small nebulous area with 2 bright stars, this is sometimes called the ‘skull nebula’. I don’t think I like that idea! As a whole the gas cloud is thought to be about 1,900 light years from earth. Whilst not really bright enough for naked eye viewing these are large objects (several moon widths) and would be worth viewing through good binoculars or a widefield scope.

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