North American and Pelican Nebulae


Ron Brecher

Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Moravian G3-16200 EC camera (on loan from O’Telescope), Optolong Ha, O3, R, G and B filters, Takahashi FSQ-106 ED IV at f/3.6, Paramount MX, unguided. Acquisition with the SkyX, focused with FocusMax. All pre-processing and processing in PixInsight. Acquired from my SkyShed in Guelph. Gibbous to full moon for Ha and O3, new to crescent moon for RGB, average transparency and poor seeing.
11x10m R, G and B, 23×20 Ha and 9x20m O3 unbinned frames (total=16hr10m).

Detailed processing information:

High resolution PNG available on request (80 MB).

The North America Nebula (NGC7000) dominates the left side of this image, and the Pelican Nebula (NGC5070) is to the right. These clouds of gas are part of a huge complex of emission nebulae lying about 1,600 light years away in northern Cygnus. With an apparent magnitude (brightness) of 4, in theory this object is visible to the naked eye, even though its light is very spread out. I have seen it with my naked eye and with low power binoculars in dark skies north of where I live. It looks like a faintly hazy, irregular patch of grey.

I have previously imaged parts of this region at higher resolution. For example, you can find images of the Cygnus Wall (the “Central America†region) and the Pelican. I’ve also imaged these objects in a wider field view.

This colour image blends the red, green and blue colour channels with data collected through H-alpha filter and Oxygen-III filter. I’ve also posted a a black and white image on my website that shows just the H-alpha data alone.