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The North American Nebula (also known as NGC 7000) is a collection of emission and dark nebulae that resembles the outline of North America. It is located approximately 1,600 light years from our solar system in direction of the constellation of Cygnus - the Swan.
This image is a composite from two black and white images taken with the Palomar Observatory's 48-inch (1.2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope as a part of the Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS II). The images were recorded on two glass photographic plates - one sensitive to red light and the other to blue. The plates were scanned and color combined to produce the image seen here.
The Samuel Oschin Telescope was used to generate the Second Palomar Observatory Sky Survey POSS II and the Digital Palomar Observatory Sky Survey DPOSS. Plates for the POSS II survey were donated by the Eastman Kodak Corporation.
The POSS II survey was enabled by grants from the
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation,
National Geographic Society, and the
National Science Foundation. Partial funding for the DPOSS survey
was provided by the Norris Foundation.
Plates were scanned at the Space Telescope Science Institute, and the results catalogued at Caltech.
URL for POSS II: http://www.astro.caltech.edu/~wws/poss2.html
URL for DPOSS: http://www.astro.caltech.edu/~george/dposs/
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