The nebula on the left in this image is
NGC7000, the North American Nebula. It's obvious why it is named as it
is. To the right is the Pelican Nebula, IC5070. Both nebulae are
emission nebulae in the constellation Cygnus about three degrees east of
Deneb at about 1,600 light years distance.
Emission nebulae primarily consist of
hydrogen gas that is raised to a higher energy state (the single electron is pushed
to a higher orbital) by radiation from the surrounding stars. When the
electron falls back to a lower energy state, the atom typically emits a photon of
light at the hydrogen alpha (Ha) frequency of 656.3 nm. This frequency
is in the red end of the visible light spectrum and gives an emission nebula
its distinctive red color.
Nebulae of this type are typically regions
of active star birth and these two nebulae are no exception. Higher
resolution images of this region reveal massive, light years long, pillars
of dust and gas from which stars are being born.
Okie-Tex Star Party,
Telescope: Orion 80ED @ f/4.8 (Meade f/6.3 reducer)
Camera: Hutech Type I
Modified Canon 350XT, ISO 800
Exposure Count: 28 frames @ 3 minutes, total
exposure 1.4 hours
Guiding: SBIG ST402, CCDSoft on 10" LX200GPS
Post Processing: Images Plus, Photoshop