Cygnus Wall, with the Gulf of Mexico region
The bright red W-shaped, or birdwing-shaped ridge of emission on the left is known as the Cygnus Wall. Part of a larger emission nebula with a distinctive outline popularly called The North America Nebula, the cosmic ridge spans about 20 light-years. Constructed using some Halpha narrowband data to highlight the telltale reddish glow from ionized hydrogen atoms recombining with electrons, the image follows an ionization front with fine details of dark, dusty forms in silhouette.
Sculpted by energetic radiation from the region's young, hot, massive stars, the dark shapes inhabiting the view are clouds of cool gas and dust with stars likely forming within. The encompassing North America Nebula itself, NGC 7000, is about 1,500 light-years away. The dark gas region in the upper right is often called the Gulf of Mexico for obvious reasons.
Orion Optics UK AG16 Astrograph: SBIG 11000 M: Titan 50 Mount
Ha: 6x10min; L: 16x7min; R,G,B each 6x3min, 3hrs 16 min total, all binned 1x1
Processed with CCDStack, Photoshop, Pixinsight
Data capture: September 2015