From Earth to the Universe: Picture of the day


This image shows the North America Nebula (NGC 7000) and the Pelican Nebula (IC 5070, 5067), two nebulae in the constellation Cygnus, approximately 1,700 light-years away. The remarkable shape of the North America nebula (left) resembles that of the continent of North America. To the right is the less luminous Pelican Nebula. The two emission nebulae measure about 50 light-years across and are separated by a dark absorption cloud. It is still unknown which star or stars ionize the red-glowing hydrogen gas.

Credit: Calar Alto Observatory (Spain), 0.80 m Schmidt camera; Image obtained and processed by Kurt Birkle and Eckhard Slawik

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