ADAM BLOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ADAM BLOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
North America nebula (NGC 7000), optical image. The North America nebula (left) is so named due to its similar shape to the continent. The hydrogen gas within this emission nebula is ionised by radiation from nearby hot young stars, making it glow red. The 'east coast', particularly the 'Gulf of Mexico', is defined by a dense cloud of dust (the dark nebula LDN 935) that blocks out light from anything behind it. At right is part of the Pelican nebula (IC 5070). The North America nebula lies about 1600 light years from the Earth, in the constellation Cygnus.
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