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The North America Nebula

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The North America Nebula

The North America nebula is named for its distinctive shape. It is located in the constellation Cygnus the Swan, which is high overhead in the northern hemisphere during the sumer. The very bright star near the right edge of the image is Deneb. This is a huge nebula, appearing more than ten times larger than the full moon in our sky. However, it is so dim that it can only barely be glimpsed by those with very sharp eyesight, and only if the sky is very dark. Like other nebulae, its beautiful colors are only visible in long exposure images. It is about 2,200 light years from the earth.

Just to the right of the North America nebula is the dimmer Pelican nebula. Some people see the shape of a pelican in this object, including a dark spot for the eye.

This image was taken from near Clinton, New York on September 7, 2002. It is a combination of two 60 minute exposures on Kodak Supra 400 film. It was taken through a 200mm lens.

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