The Pelican Nebula (IC 5070)

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About this Image

The Pelican Nebula (IC 5070) in central Cygnus, here shown in narrowband color, is divided from the larger North America Nebula by a molecular cloud filled with dark dust. Highly energised shock fronts give a high contrast to the adjacent areas, filled with complex dark gas and dust lanes.
The light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming cold gas to hot gas, with the advancing boundary between the two known as an ionization front. Particularly dense and intricate filaments of cold gas are visible along the front. In the red areas H-alpha is domanting, shades to yellow/green indicate O-III emission.

The Elephant Trunk - Herbig-Haro object 555 is a small-scale shock region intimately associated with star forming regions. Several other HH objects are in the same field of view. The distance to both Nebulae is estimated at 1600 light years. North is right.
Compare a wider view taken with the 4" refractor here.

Below you find a 30/70 color and a 30/80% H-alpha crop on the center of the above image.

clic for 70% size 1878 x 1512 (840 kB)

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Technical Details


410mm cassegrain in corrected prime focus at f/3

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -15C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik H-alpha (15 nm), O-III (15 nm), blue
Date June 03-13, 2005.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5.5 sky, raw FWHM 2.5-3", temperature 15-18 C,
Exposure Ha:O-III:B = 90:90:30 minutes (30-minute sub-exposures Ha and O-III, 10 min B), all 1x1.
Processing Image aquisition, calibration and color combine in Maxim DL 4.10; O-III channel blended to G and B to get the right teal balance, curves, color balancing, light unsharp mask in Photoshop;