North America and Pelican Nebula Widefield (RGB)

North America and Pelican Nebula (RGB)


The North America Nebula with it’s sister Nebula the Pelican is located at the far end of the constellation of Cygnus. It is an emission nebula predominantly emitting light in the Hα wavelength. Its apparent dimensions are around 120×100 minutes of arc with a suspected distance from Earth of around 1600 light years. The designation of the North America Nebula is NGC7000 and the smaller Pelican Nebula IC 5070. While they have the same designation they both are a part of the same interstellar cloud. To the right (of the image) lies Deneb, the tail of the swan and the brightest star of the constellation Cygnus.

While you might think that the shape of North America gave this nebula its name you would be absolutely right. Although as stated before NGC7000 and IC5070 are part of the same interstellar cloud and actually are interconnected. This is not visible from Earth since a very large dark and complex band of interstellar dust obscures some parts of the nebulosity and gives the nebula its prominent shape. Around the nebulous area are several small galaxies and star clusters which are mostly barely visible, but I will point them out in the annotated image.

Technical Details

Oh man. What a surprising pain this image was to process. It took me 5 iterations before I got a result that I was happy with. The data is incredible, there’s just so much detail and color in the whole nebulous area. That being said it was very difficult to bring out the proper color of the nebula and the surrounding areas and at the same time removing the background gradient. I am not pleased with the bright star Deneb that shows some weird tilt and a very strong flare – it might hint towards a sensor tilt from my sensor modification? In any case this was my first proper widefield image with the 135mm f/2 and there’s definitely more to come, if the clouds properly depart and allow me to take more pictures. Overall there’s lots of data here, I am very pleased.

Acquisition Details

Shot with Nikon D5100 on Samyang 135mm f/2 @ f/2 on SkyWatcher Star Adventurer

Date: 2018-08-11
RGB: 70×240s 1×1 binned

Postprocessing Details

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Annotated Image

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One Reply to “North America and Pelican Nebula Widefield (RGB)”

  1. Sweet work!
    Speaking of looking like Noth America. If you turn it around it looks more like scandinavia, europe and a bit of russia. ?

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