Image Credit & Copyright: Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), Hubble Space Telescope;
Processing: Robert Gendler & Roberto Colombari
What’s happening at the center of this nebula? Sculpted by stellar winds and radiation, the star factory known as Messier 17 lies some 5,500 light-years away in the nebula-rich constellation Sagittarius. At that distance, this degree wide field of view spans almost 100 light-years. The sharp, composite, color image utilizing data from space and ground based telescopes, follows faint details of the region’s gas and dust clouds against a backdrop of central Milky Way stars. Stellar winds and energetic light from hot, massive stars formed from M17’s stock of cosmic gas and dust have slowly carved away at the remaining interstellar material producing the cavernous appearance and undulating shapes. M17 is also known as the Omega Nebula or the Swan Nebula.
NASA APOD 27-May-14
This emission nebula is famous because it resembles Earth’s continent of North America. Cataloged as NGC 7000, North America Nebula is located about 1500 light-years away near Pelican nebula. Both of them can be seen with binoculars from a very dark location.
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. However, using a UHC filter, which filters out some unwanted wavelengths of light, it can be seen without magnification under dark skies. Its prominent shape and especially its reddish color (from the hydrogen Hα emission line) show up only in photographs of the area.
Imaging telescopes or lenses: Orion ED80T-CF
Imaging cameras: Nikon D7100
Mounts: Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 GT
Guiding telescopes or lenses: Orion 50mm mini guidescope
Guiding cameras: Orion Star Shoot autoguider (SSAG)
Focal reducers: TeleVue 0.8x Photo Reducer/Flattener TRF-2008
Software: Photoshop CS6, PHD Guiding, Luc Coiffier DeepSkyStacker
Dates: Sept. 30, 2013, Oct. 1, 2013
Frames: 11×300″ ISO800
Integration: 0.9 hours
AstroPhotography of the day by SPONLI 27 May 2014