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Jon Greif

Location of Photo:

Palomar Observatory Campground, Palomar, CA, USA

Date/Time of photo:

July 13, 2021, at 11:30 PM PDT


Stellarvue 90 mm refractor, Rainbow Astro RST-135 mount, ZWO 533 MC Pro imaging camera, QHY 5L-II guide camera (OAG), Ekos capture and Pixinsight processing software.


The North America Nebula (NGC 7000 ) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, close to Deneb (the tail of the swan and its brightest star). The shape of the nebula is said to resemble that of the continent of North America, complete with a prominent Gulf of Mexico, the dark area in the lower right corner of this image. 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 Hydrogen alpha (reddish) region. The data show that the North America nebula lies 2,590 light years away. The nebula is 140 light years across, and stretches 90 light years north to south.This image is the result of two hours of imaging with my 90 mm refracting telescope night before last at the Palomar Observatory Campground -- a beautiful dark night sky and well worth the two hour drive and 90 degree daytime heat! We'll do it again.