Home > Uncategorized > 10/11/2012 – Ephemeris – North American Nebula

10/11/2012 – Ephemeris – North American Nebula

October 11, 2012

Ephemeris for Thursday, October 11th.  The sun will rise at 7:53.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 10 minutes, setting at 7:04.   The moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:30 tomorrow morning.

Most of what we see in the Milky Way are just masses of stars, but there are bright  clouds of gas , or to name them properly:  emission nebulae.  These bright clouds are areas of star formation.  It is the ultraviolet light from young massive stars that light up the clouds they were formed from.  A bright one, easily visible in binoculars is just about overhead at 9 p.m. Called the North American Nebula, a glow shaped much like our continent just east of the star Deneb, the northernmost star of the Summer Triangle, and brightest star in Cygnus the swan or Northern Cross.  There are many other nebulae in the Milky Way, visible in binoculars and small telescopes.  Many enjoyable hours can be spent sweeping the Milky Way for nebulae and star clusters.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.

Addendum

North American Nebula in Red.  My old image.

North American Nebula in Red. My old image.

The red object is the North American Nebula.  Our eyes cannot perceive the color, due to hydrogen.  This was a time exposure on film without telephoto.  The bright star to the upper right is Deneb.  The orientation is approximately correct if facing south.  The photo also shows the stars that make up the glow of the Milky Way to the unaided eye.

Deneb Overhead.  Created using Stellarium.

Deneb Overhead at 9 p.m. on October 11. Created using Stellarium.

The North American Nebula is about the size and position of the C in Cygnus.

Better view of the North American Nebula taken by Scott Anttila.

Better view of the North American Nebula taken by Scott Anttila.

This nebula is cataloged as NGC 7000.

 

 

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