NGC7000, North America Nebula

2021-09-03 / Click on image to enlarge


NGC 7000, also known as "The North America Nebula," or "Caldwell 20," is an huge emission nebula located in the constellation of Cygnus. NGC 7000 is nicknamed "The North America Nebula," because it's shape looks like the continent of North America.

The lower half of the image - resembling Mexico and Central America - is known as the Cygnus Wall. This region exhibits the most concentrated star formation. Above right resembles the Gulf of Mexico.

The distance to the North America has long been controversial, because there are few precision methods for determining how far away an HII region lies. Until 2020, most astronomers accepted a value of 2000 light years, though estimates ranged from 1500 to 3000 light years. But in 2020, this nebula's distance was pinned down with unprecedented accuracy, after the Gaia astrometry satellite measured the precise distances to 395 stars lying within the HII region. The data show that the North America and Pelican nebulae lie 2,590 light years away (795±25 parsecs). The whole HII region Sh2-117 is then 140 light years across, and the North America Nebula stretches 90 light years north to south (Source: Wikipedia).

Technical Details

LocationZollikerberg, Switzerland
CameraNikon DSLR D810A
TelescopeTS ONTC 12" f/4 Carbon Newton
OpticsTS 2,5" Wynne Coma Corrector
Focal Length1113mm
MountiOptron CEM120 Center-Balanced Equatorial Mount
AutoguidingMGEN-3 (Dithering)
Planetarium SoftwareStellarium
Image Session ControlAPT - Astro Photography Tool v3.88, ASCOM Platform 6
Lights73 x 120s (total 2h26'), ISO-1600, additional Biases, Flats, no Darks
Stacking SoftwarePixinsight 1.8, Drizzle 1x
Image ProcessingPixinsight 1.8