Pictures of the Pelican Nebula

Facts and images of the Pelican Nebula in Cygnus.

IC5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12

The Pelican Nebula is a star-forming region about 30 lightyears wide located 1,800 lightyears from Earth.

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It is also known as IC 5070 and IC 5067, and is found near bright star Deneb in the Cygnus constellation. You can find Deneb by spotting the Summer Triangle, one of our favourite summer constellations and asterisms.

Deneb in Milkyway by Paul Holland, Dronfield, Derbyshire, UK. Equipment: HEQ6 PRO Goto, Orion Starshoot autoguider, Cannon EOS1000D, Helios 200mm Newtonian
Deneb in Milkyway by Paul Holland, Dronfield, Derbyshire, UK. Equipment: HEQ6 PRO Goto, Orion Starshoot autoguider, Cannon EOS1000D, Helios 200mm Newtonian

The Pelican Nebula is a type of object known as an emission nebula, because the hydrogen gas itself is actually emitting light (as opposed to a reflection nebula, in which cosmic gas is lit up by light from young stars).

Over the years the nebula has been given the name ‘Pelican Nebula’ because of its similarity in appearance to the long-billed bird.

The nebula is separated from the North America Nebula by just a thin dark dust cloud known as L935.

North America and Pelican Nebulae Neil Wyatt, Branston, Staffordshire, 20 and 21 July 2020. Equipment: ZWO ASI 1600MM Pro mono camera, Sky-Watcher 130PDS Newtonian, Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro mount
The North America Nebula (left) and the Pelican Nebula (right) by Neil Wyatt, Branston, Staffordshire, 20 and 21 July 2020. Equipment: ZWO ASI 1600MM Pro mono camera, Sky-Watcher 130PDS Newtonian, Sky-Watcher HEQ5 Pro mount

The Pelican Nebula is a fascinating area for study because it is an active mix of star formation and evolving clouds of cosmic gas.

It’s one of many nebulae that look like animals, and belongs to an even more specific class of nebulae that look like birds, such as the Eagle Nebula (M16) and the Owl Nebula (M97).

Below is a selection of images of the Pelican Nebula captured by astrophotographers and BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers.

For advice on photographing nebulae, read our guide to deep-sky astrophotography, or, if you’re just starting out in photographing the sky, read our basic guide to astrophotography.

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And whatever you manage to photograph, don’t forget to send us your images or share them with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Pelican Nebula in Ha by Anna Morris, Norton, Suffolk, UK. Equipment: Orion EON80ED, Atik 314L+, Astronomik Ha, Celestron CPC800XLT, StarlightXPress Lodestar
Pelican Nebula in Ha by Anna Morris, Norton, Suffolk, UK. Equipment: Orion EON80ED, Atik 314L+, Astronomik Ha, Celestron CPC800XLT, StarlightXPress Lodestar
The Pelican Nebula by Simon Hollingdale, East Sussex, UK. Equipment: Atik 314L mono CCD, Skywatcher ED80 refractor, EQ6 mount, phd, finderguider.
The Pelican Nebula by Simon Hollingdale, East Sussex, UK. Equipment: Atik 314L mono CCD, Skywatcher ED80 refractor, EQ6 mount, phd, finderguider.
IC5070 Pelican Nebula by Stephen Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK. Equipment: ED80DS Pro, modded EOS450D (CLS and Ha filters), HEQ5 Pro, ST102, QHY5.
IC5070 Pelican Nebula by Stephen Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK. Equipment: ED80DS Pro, modded EOS450D (CLS and Ha filters), HEQ5 Pro, ST102, QHY5.
IC 5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik Ha RGB filter set.
IC 5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik Ha RGB filter set.
IC 5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount & Equinox 80mm refractor, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik Ha LRGB filter set.
IC 5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount & Equinox 80mm refractor, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik Ha LRGB filter set.
IC 5070 Pelican Nebula in Cygnus by Steve Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK. Equipment: ED80, HEQ5 Pro mount, Atik 314l+, 7nm filter, Xagyl filter wheel.
IC 5070 Pelican Nebula in Cygnus by Steve Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK. Equipment: ED80, HEQ5 Pro mount, Atik 314l+, 7nm filter, Xagyl filter wheel.
Pelican Nebula IC 5070 by Lee Housden, Essex, UK. Equipment: Pier Mounted Celestron Cpc 800, Skywatcher 80mm Apo, Canon 450D modded, QHY5, PhD
Pelican Nebula IC 5070 by Lee Housden, Essex, UK. Equipment: Pier Mounted Celestron Cpc 800, Skywatcher 80mm Apo, Canon 450D modded, QHY5, PhD
IC5070 Pelican Nebula Ionisation Front by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire UK. Equipment: GSO 8
IC5070 Pelican Nebula Ionisation Front by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire UK. Equipment: GSO 8″ Richey-Chretien Optical tube, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters.
IC5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron C11 Sct, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters.
IC5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron C11 Sct, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters.
IC5070 Pelican by Steve Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK. Equipment: William Optics ZS71, 0.8x reducer, Atik 314l+, Xagyl filter wheel, Baader Narrowband filters, HEQ5 Pro mount controlled through Carte Du Ciel
IC5070 Pelican by Steve Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK. Equipment: William Optics ZS71, 0.8x reducer, Atik 314l+, Xagyl filter wheel, Baader Narrowband filters, HEQ5 Pro mount controlled through Carte Du Ciel
IC5070 - The Pelican Nebula by Gavin James, Marlborough, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Evostar ED80, Reducer, QSI-683-WSG.
IC5070 – The Pelican Nebula by Gavin James, Marlborough, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher Evostar ED80, Reducer, QSI-683-WSG.
IC5070 by Velvet, Kelling Heath, UK. Equipment: Takahashi 106 and Takahashi 85 both reduced QSI 690-wsg-8
IC5070 by Velvet, Kelling Heath, UK. Equipment: Takahashi 106 and Takahashi 85 both reduced QSI 690-wsg-8
IC5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 8
IC5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 8″ Boren simon power newtonian, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters.
Pelican Nebula HST by Chris Grimmer, Norwich, UK. Equipment: Starlight Xpress SXVR H694 Mono CCD, Baader Narrowband Filters, William Optic GT81 Triplet Refractor, Ioptron CEM60 Standard Mount
Pelican Nebula HST by Chris Grimmer, Norwich, UK. Equipment: Starlight Xpress SXVR H694 Mono CCD, Baader Narrowband Filters, William Optic GT81 Triplet Refractor, Ioptron CEM60 Standard Mount
The Pelican Nebula by Mike Garbett, Walsall, West Midlands, UK. Equipment: HEQ5 Pro, Equinox 80, Atik 428 EX, Baader filters.
The Pelican Nebula by Mike Garbett, Walsall, West Midlands, UK. Equipment: HEQ5 Pro, Equinox 80, Atik 428 EX, Baader filters.
IC 5070 The Pelican Nebula by Lee Housden, Essex, UK. Equipment: Celestron CPC 800, Pier Mounted, Skywatcher ED 80 Apo, QHY10 OSC CCD, PhD
IC 5070 The Pelican Nebula by Lee Housden, Essex, UK. Equipment: Celestron CPC 800, Pier Mounted, Skywatcher ED 80 Apo, QHY10 OSC CCD, PhD
IC5070 Pelican Nebula SHO Palette by Richard Cardoe, Cambridge, UK. Equipment: SW Evostar ED80 DS-PRO, SW 0.85 reducer, HEQ5 PRO Synscan, Rowan Belt Drive mod, Atik 383l+ Mono CCD, Baader 36mm 7nm Ha, 8.5nm OIII and 8nm SII filters, ZWO ASI120MM, Orion 162mm/F3.2 guidescope with PHD2.
IC5070 Pelican Nebula SHO Palette by Richard Cardoe, Cambridge, UK. Equipment: SW Evostar ED80 DS-PRO, SW 0.85 reducer, HEQ5 PRO Synscan, Rowan Belt Drive mod, Atik 383l+ Mono CCD, Baader 36mm 7nm Ha, 8.5nm OIII and 8nm SII filters, ZWO ASI120MM, Orion 162mm/F3.2 guidescope with PHD2.
IC5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12
IC5070 Pelican Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik Sii, Ha, Oiii filters, Astro physics 0.67 reducer.
IC5070 - Pelican Nebula by Stewart Wilson, Enfield, London, UK. Equipment: ED-80 DS Pro refractor, 10Micron GM-1000 HPS Mount, ZWO ASI-1600MM-Cool Camera, Baader 7.5/8nm narrowband filters in Atik EFW-2 Filter Wheel
IC5070 – Pelican Nebula by Stewart Wilson, Enfield, London, UK. Equipment: ED-80 DS Pro refractor, 10Micron GM-1000 HPS Mount, ZWO ASI-1600MM-Cool Camera, Baader 7.5/8nm narrowband filters in Atik EFW-2 Filter Wheel
IC5070 - Pelican Nebula (HOO Bicolour Combination) by William Tan, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Equipment: Skyrover 110ED doublet lens, ZEQ25 - ASI1600MM Cool
IC5070 – Pelican Nebula (HOO Bicolour Combination) by William Tan, Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Equipment: Skyrover 110ED doublet lens, ZEQ25 – ASI1600MM Cool
Pelican Nebula by Kevin Stewart, Alnwick Northumberland, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 130pds, Celestron cgem mount, canon 1100d and baader 7nm Ha filter
Pelican Nebula by Kevin Stewart, Alnwick Northumberland, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher 130pds, Celestron cgem mount, canon 1100d and baader 7nm Ha filter