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ic5070 09 2023

ic5070 09 2023

C9.25 SCT NEQ6

    The Pelican Nebula (also known as IC 5070 and IC 5067) is an H II region associated with the North America Nebula in the constellation Cygnus. The gaseous contortions of this emission nebula bear a resemblance to a pelican, giving rise to its name. The Pelican Nebula is located nearby first magnitude star Deneb, and is divided from its more prominent neighbour, the North America Nebula, by a foreground molecular cloud filled with dark dust. Both are part of the larger H II region of Westerhout 40.


    The image here is the "head and neck" of the Pelican. The interesting star formation regions are in the "neck". Hard to visualize, but imagine the pelican's head on the center right with beak pointing toward upper left. If I ever get a wide field refractor I will shoot the whole Pelican. 


    The Pelican is much studied because it has a particularly active mix of star formation and evolving gas clouds. The light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming cold gas to hot and causing an ionization front gradually to advance outward. Particularly dense filaments of cold gas are seen to still remain, and among these are found two jets emitted from the Herbig–Haro object 555. Millions of years from now this nebula might no longer be known as the Pelican, as the balance and placement of stars and gas will leave something that appears completely different.


    The two jets are barely visible at the tip of the main gas pillar filamant, center right in the image.

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