IC-5070 - The Pelican Nebula

Copyright 2009 Hap Griffin

IC6070, sometimes called the "Pelican Nebula" lies 2000 light years away in the constellation of Cygnus.  Dark dust clouds in the nebula define the Pelican's eyes and long bill, while a bright region of glowing hydrogen gas outline the back of his neck.  As this region of active star formation evolves over time, a few million years from now it will no doubt no longer resemble its namesake.

This image was captured through a narrowband filter admitting only a narrow slice of spectrum around the wavelength of glowing hydrogen.  Thus it is a monochrome (single color) image displayed as shades of grey.  Considering the thickness of the haze and the passing clouds, it is amazing that the hydrogen-alpha filter pulled out as much detail as it did.

Date/Location:    September 4, 2009     Griffin/Hunter Observatory    Bethune, SC
Camera: QSI 583wsg
Filters: Astrodon E Series Generation 2 HA (5nm BW)
CCD Temperature: -10 C
Instrument:    Takahashi FSQ-106N 
Focal Ratio:   f/5
Mount: AP-1200
Guiding:    Auto through 10" Orion Newtonian w/ SBIG ST-402
Conditions:    Thick haze and passing clouds
Weather:    66 F, still
Exposure: 320 minutes total (16 x 20 min)
Capture: ImagesPlus v3.80B Camera Control
Processing:    Frame calibrations, alignment, Digital Development with ImagesPlus v3.75.  Finishing in Photoshop CS4.