North America and Pelican Nebulae

November 07, 2016


Photographer: Greg Parker
Summary Authors: Greg Parker; Jim Foster

Featured above are the North America (NGC 7000) and Pelican (IC5070) nebulae shown amidst a sea of Milky Way stars. The Pelican region is the blob to the immediate right of NGC 7000 -- its beak and head look toward NGC 7000. Both nebulae are huge hydrogen emission gas clouds within the Orion Arm of the Milky Way. They're approximately 1,900 light years distant and are found in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan, which for observers in the Northern Hemisphere can now be seen in the western sky after nightfall. In very dark skies NGC 7000 can be viewed with the naked eye with the aid of a hydrogen-alpha filter held in front of the eye, but you'll need a good pair of binoculars (10 x 30) or a quality telescope in order for NGC 7000's shape to become evident. Note, the brightest star in Cygnus, Deneb, is just off the image at top-right.

Photo Details: 17 x 20-minute sub-exposures; using 2 x Canon 200mm prime lenses; and 2 x Trius M26C 10-megapixel OSC CCDs.