Sh2-117 (NGC 7000 & IC 5067) in Cygnus

Bigger size: 2000 px
© Velimir Popov & Emil Ivanov 2020

This image covers approximately 55 sq. deg. of the constellation Cygnus. Several objects can be spotted here (see mouseover). The North America and Pelican Nebulae are a favorite objects for most astroimagers. They are very bright and easy to be imaged with any filter. SH2-117 covers not only these two objects, but IC 5068 as well, which lies below them.
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. The portion of the nebula resembling Mexico and Central America is known as the Cygnus Wall. This region exhibits the most concentrated star formation.
The North America Nebula and the nearby Pelican Nebula (IC 5070) are 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 determines the shape as we see it. The distance of the nebula complex couldn't be precisely known, as well as 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 1,800 light-years' distance, and its absolute size (6° apparent diameter on the sky) would be 100 light-years.

Charts and image details obtained from



Image and FOV details

Details for the image
Center of field RA 20:57:01 (h:m:s)
Center of field DE +43:39:33 (deg:m:s)
FOV 8.65 x 6.98 (deg)
Pixel scale: 15.6 (arcsec/pixel)
Orientation: Up is 109 degrees E of N

Imaging details

Optic(s): 300 mm Canon F/2.8 lenses
Mount: Photographic tripod
Camera: Canon 5 D Modified,
Filters: No
Dates/Times: 1 September 2011
Location: Rozhen, Bulgaria
Exp. Details: 16 x 5 min. at 1600 ISO
Processing: PS
Copyright: Velimir Popov and Emil Ivanov 2013-2020. All Rights Reserved
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