NGC 1977 The Running Man Nebula


The North America Nebula (NGC 7000 or Caldwell 20) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, close to Deneb (the tail of the swan and its brightest star). The remarkable shape of the emission nebula resembles that of the continent of North America, complete with a prominent Gulf of Mexico.  Between the Earth and the nebula complex lies a band of interstellar dust that absorbs the light of stars and nebulae behind it and thereby is responsible for the shape as we see it. The distance of the nebula complex is not precisely known, nor is the star responsible for ionizing the hydrogen so that it emits light. If the star inducing the ionization is Deneb, the nebula complex would be about 1800 light years distance, and its absolute size would be 100 light years.

Imaging Data

Date: 9-5-2010

Location : Sudbury, Massachusetts

Optics : William Optics ZenithStar 66 Semi Apo Refractor

Filter(s) : None

Mount : PiggyBack Meade LX-200 on ATS Pier

Autoguiding : None

Camera : Canon EOS 1000D Astro-modified

Exposure info : 3 x 120 second Exposures @ISO 1600

Total Exposure : 6 minutes