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NGC7000 - North America Nebula

The North America Nebula (NGC 7000 or Caldwell 20) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, close to Deneb (the tail of the swan and its brightest star). The remarkable shape of the nebula resembles that of the continent of North America, complete with a prominent Gulf of Mexico. It is sometimes incorrectly called the "North American Nebula".

The North America Nebula is large, covering an area of more than four times the size of the full moon; but its surface brightness is low, so normally it cannot be seen with the unaided eye. Binoculars and telescopes with large fields of view (approximately 3°) will show it as a foggy patch of light under sufficiently dark skies. However, using a UHC filter, which filters out some unwanted wavelengths of light, it can be seen by the naked eye under dark skies. Its prominent shape and especially its reddish color (from the hydrogenemission line) show up only in photographs of the area.

Cygnus's Wall is a term for the "Mexico and Central America part" of the North America Nebula. The Cygnus Wall exhibits the most concentrated star formations in the nebula.

 Between the Earth and the nebula complex lies a band of interstellar dust that absorbs the light of stars and nebulae behind it, and thereby determines the shape as we see it. The distance of the nebula complex is not precisely known, nor is the star responsible for ionizing the hydrogen so that it emits light. If the star inducing the ionization is Deneb, as some sources say, the nebula complex would be about 1800 light years distant, and its absolute size (6° apparent diameter on the sky) would be 100 light years.

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  My first try at NCG7000

Taken on 9/7/2008
Orion ED80
Hap Griffin Modified Canon 350D
51 90-second pictures
ISO 1600
Stacked with DeepSkyStacker
Processed with PhotoShop CS
Darks, Flat, Offsets applied

Copyright © 2008 – Antonio Pascarella
  Same session as above.  Over-processed to show North America outline.

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