The Cosmic Continent


Terry Hancock

Fremont, Michigan

Location: DownUnderObservatory, Fremont, MI
Total Integration time 9 Hours
Filters by Chroma 7nm
H-Alpha 180 min, 18 x 10 min bin 1×1
OIII 180 min, 18 x 10 min bin 1×1
SII 180 min, 18 x 10 min bin 1×1
QHY11 monochrome CCD cooled to -20C
Optec Gemini Focusing Rotator
Takahashi E-180 F2.8 Astrograph
Rainbow Astro RST-400 EQ Mount
Image Acquisition Maxim DL
Pre Processing Pixinsight
Post Processing Photoshop CS6

This is my deepest ever Narrowband image of NGC7000, in part it has helped by having the use of some better equipment.

For starters I had a significant upgrade to my QHY11 Mono CCD which now has the new heating ring to combat the dew when we have very high humidity (most of the time it’s around 80% here in Western Michigan) and the new QHY Large 7 Position Filter Wheel. For this image I used the Chroma 7nm H-Alpha, SII and OIII Filters and I am extremely happy with the detail and contrast these filters have helped me achieve. For the focusing I am using the Optec Gemini Focusing Rotator and the precision of this Focuser goes beyond anything I have experienced to date.

The North America Nebula (NGC 7000 or Caldwell 20) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus that resembles the shape of North America and The Gulf Of Mexico. It lies at a distance of approximately 1800 light years away from us.
It contains some very interesting areas such as The Cygnus Wall which is representative of Mexico and Central America and the nearby Pelican Nebula (IC5070) which is not usually referred to as within The American Nebula however it is part of the same cloud of ionized Hydrogen.