Pictures of the North America Nebula
Images of the North America Nebula and facts about this continent-shaped cosmic cloud.
NGC 7000 is known as the North America Nebula due to its similarity in shape to the geographical outline of its namesake continent.
NGC 7000 is located 1,700 lightyears away and measures 100 lightyears across.
It is often pictured alongside IC 5070, a fellow emission nebula nicknamed the Pelican Nebula.
The North America Nebula was first observed by astronomer William Herschel in October 1786, and today it is a firm favourite of northern hemisphere observers.
Of all the nebulae that are named after objects they resemble - like the Cat's Paw Nebula, the Rosette Nebula, the Pacman Nebula etc. - the North America Nebula is among those that most lives up to its nickname.
And considering there is also a California Nebula, it's a pity for astronomers in the US that there isn't a nebula named for each of the other 49 states!
Below is a selection of images of the North America Nebula captured by BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers and astrophotographers from around the world.