Exposure: 13x600" @ ISO 800
Telescope: William Optics Megrez 88FD with Borg DG-L
Filter: Hutech IDAS LPS 2"
Mount: Skywatcher EQ6 Pro
Camera: Modded Canon 350D in cooler box
Date: 3rd May 2009
Location: Rasos de Peguera (Barcelona, Spain)
Comments: This was my first image with the cooler box that I built for my Canon 350D. This cooler box makes the camera to work about 20ºC colder than ambient temperature. I had problems with the focusing, which was far from being perfect. It can be noticed in the weird star shapes.
The North America Nebula (NGC 7000 or Caldwell 20) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, close to Deneb. The shape of the emission nebula resembles that of the continent of North America, complete with a prominent Gulf of Mexico.
The North America Nebula is large, covering an area of more than four times the size of the full moon, but its surface brightness is low so normally it cannot be seen with the unaided eye. Binoculars and telescopes with large fields of view (approximately 3°) will show it as a foggy patch of light under sufficiently dark skies.
The North America Nebula, at the left part of the image, and the nearby Pelican Nebula (IC 5070), at the right part of the image, are in fact parts of the same interstellar cloud of ionized hydrogen (H II region). Between the Earth and the nebula complex lies a band of interstellar dust that absorbs the light of stars and nebulae behind it and thereby is responsible for the shape as we see it. The distance of the nebula complex is not precisely known, nor is the star responsible for ionizing the hydrogen so that it emits light. If the star inducing the ionization is Deneb, as some sources say, the nebula complex would be about 1800 light years distance, and its absolute size (6° apparent diameter on the sky) would be 100 light years.