APOD: IC 5070: A Dusty Pelican in the Swan (2016 Nov 19)

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APOD: IC 5070: A Dusty Pelican in the Swan (2016 Nov 19)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Nov 19, 2016 5:12 am

Image IC 5070: A Dusty Pelican in the Swan

Explanation: The recognizable profile of the Pelican Nebula soars nearly 2,000 light-years away in the high flying constellation Cygnus, the Swan. Also known as IC 5070, this interstellar cloud of gas and dust is appropriately found just off the "east coast" of the North America Nebula (NGC 7000), another surprisingly familiar looking emission nebula in Cygnus. Both Pelican and North America nebulae are part of the same large and complex star forming region, almost as nearby as the better-known Orion Nebula. From our vantage point, dark dust clouds (upper left) help define the Pelican's eye and long bill, while a bright front of ionized gas suggests the curved shape of the head and neck. This striking synthesized color view utilizes narrowband image data recording the emission of hydrogen and oxygen atoms in the cosmic cloud. The scene spans some 30 light-years at the estimated distance of the Pelican Nebula.

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Steve Richards

Re: APOD: IC 5070: A Dusty Pelican in the Swan (2016 Nov 19)

Post by Steve Richards » Sat Nov 19, 2016 9:27 am


IC 5070, The Pelican Nebula, is one of my favourite objects although it is often overshadowed by its brighter neighbour, NGC 7000, The North America Nebula. The skies didn't play ball with this one so it took several evenings over a protracted period of time to capture any meaningful data during July to October 2016. The finished image is bi-colour comprising 20 x 600 second subframes using a 7nm Hydrogen Alpha (Ha) filter and a mix of 37 x 900 and 1200 second subframes using an 8.5nm Doubly Ionised Oxygen (OIII).

What I particularly wanted to accentuate in this image was the dust. I have always loved the dust apparently 'falling' from the area where M42 and M43 'touch' and was keen to get a similar effect here with this object. Working with just bi-colour data introduced some challenges but in the end, I did get an image that reflected what I was looking for. As well as the gas and dust, there was another feature that I hoped to probe and that was the Herbig-Haro jets (designated HH-555) emanating from the top of the dust and gas pillar on the 'neck' region of the nebula. These jets indicate the presence of an unseen proto-star and they are indeed visible in this image.

Image Details

Location: The Chanctonbury Observatory, Southern England
Mount: Mesu 200
Telescope: William optics FLT98
Reducer: William Optics FR IV
Camera: QSI 683 WSG-8
Guiding: SX LodeStar
Filters: Baader 7nm Ha and 8.5mm OIII
Subframes: 20 x 600 sec Ha, 37 x mix of 900 and 1200 sec OIII
Control: CCD Commander
Capture: MaxIm DL
Post-Processing: MaxIm DL and PS3

Steve Richards
The Chanctonbury Observatory


Re: APOD: IC 5070: A Dusty Pelican in the Swan (2016 Nov 19)

Post by heehaw » Sat Nov 19, 2016 10:16 am

The dust IS lovely!