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Pelican Nebula
Daniel Song

Pelican Nebula

The Pelican Nebula (also known as IC5070 and IC5067) is an H II region associated with the North America Nebula in the constellation Cygnus. An emission nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen gas, helium gas and other ionized gases. New stars are formed in the nebulas. The formed stars are sometimes known as a young, loose cluster.The nebula resembles a pelican in shape, hence the name. The Pelican Nebula is a large area of emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus (the Swan), close to Deneb, and divided from its brighter, larger neighbor, the North America Nebula, by a molecular cloud filled with dark dust. Dust gives structure to the picture, making some extreme boundaries of bright and dark.The Pelican is much studied because it has a particularly active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds. The light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming cold gas to hot and causing an ionization front gradually to advance outward. Particularly dense filaments of cold gas are seen to still remain. Millions of years from now this nebula might no longer be known as the Pelican, as the balance and placement of stars and gas will leave something that appears completely different.

The Pelican Nebula in the image above is only a part of the whole nebula. In order to take a clear picture of Pelican Nebula, mosaic technique is used combining 4 different images. The dense hydrogen gas cloud layers emit dim red color due to very hot stars ionize the gas. The distance from Earth is about 1,800 light years. The vertical size of the image is 43', therefore the diameter of the Pelican Nebula on the image is 22 light years.

References:

"Pelican nebula" Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelican_Nebula>

"Nebula" Wikipedia <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebula>

Pelican Nebula IC 5070 <http://www.jthommes.com/Astro/Pelican.htm>

Right Ascension (J2000) 20:50:48
Declination (J2000) +44:21:00
Filters used H alpha
Exposure time per filter 300s
Date observed December 14 2011

 

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