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  • Writer's pictureKevin Hearn

NGC7000 North America Nebula Mosaic

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. The portion of the nebula resembling Mexico and Central America is known as the Cygnus Wall. Its prominent shape and especially its reddish colour (from the hydrogenemission line) show up only in RGB colour photographs of the area. The Nebula is 2,202 light years from Earth and has radius of 50,000 light years.

This image is the first I have taken using the Mosaic facility in SGPro Capture software. The American Nebula is a large image to capture normally using my Atik460 Camera and ED80 scope as the field of view is smaller than this target. SGpro comes with a feature that can create a Mosaic setup. This creates a sequence that takes a set amount of images then moves the scope automatically to another section to repeat the capture. The image here is a 16 panel Image Mosaic that creates the full shear size of the Nebula. Each one of the 16 images is made up of 6 x10 minute exposures using a Hydrogen Alpha filter, which gives a total image Mosaic capture time of 16 hours. These images are stitched together using a free Software Program from Microsoft called Image Composite Editor (ICE) The combined image was then processed as normal in Photoshop to extract the captured data to produce the final image.

Normal size Narrowband Image using ATIK460
My previous Narrowband Image using ATIK460
Mosaic Set up in SGPro
Mosaic Set up in SGPro

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