Location of Photo:
Pommier Observatory, Portland, Oregon, USA
Date/Time of photo:
2012-08-22 through 2012-08-24.
Telescope/Mount: Celestron Compustar C14 with Astrophysics 0.75x focal reducer (f/8.25). Camera: SBIG STL 11000M with Baader Planetarium H-alpha,L,R,G,B filters. SBIG AO-L adaptive optics at 3.0 Hz. Exposures: H-alpha:L:R:G:B=300:240:60:60:60=12 hours total exposure.
This Hydrogen-alphaLRBG image shows the "Mexico" and "Gulf of Mexico" regions of NGC 7000, the North America Nebula in Cygnus. The west coast of "Mexico" is the brightest region, known as the Cygnus Wall. It is a highly ionized shock front caused by strong stellar winds forcing the bright hydrogen cloud into an adjacent colder dark cloud to the left. As the cloud is compressed, the stellar winds continue to erode its edges, forming the billowing shapes along the front. This bright region provides stark contrast with the black "Gulf of Mexico" region, formed by dark gas and dust clouds with globules, filaments and wisps of dust dramatically silhouetted against the glowing nebula behind. Deneb may be the source of ionization and stellar winds, placing the nebula at a distance of 1800 light-years.