Pelican Nebula - Narrowband
The long beak of the Pelican
looks more like the head
of a prehistoric Pterydactyl than
the head of a bird.  The eye is
ghostly dark, but the nearby
bright star hints of a displaced
eyeball.  The Pelican Nebula is
part of a huge cloud of hydrogen
gas, termed an H-II region by
astronomers, illuminated by a
nearby star.  Like other H-II
regions, the hydrogen gas is
excited by the stellar energy, and
then emits its own light at the
characteristic red wavelength of
hydrogen.  In this image with the
Hubble Palette, hydrogen alpha
gas is represented in yellow,
sulfur in red, and oxygen 3 gas in

Located at a distance of 1500  
light-years in the direction of the
constellation Cygnus the Swan,  
the Pelican Nebula is separated
from the adjacent larger North
American Nebula by a broad band
of light-absorbing dark clouds.

This image combined a series of
ten-minute exposures, 6 each with
hydrogen alpha and sulfur II  
filters, and 8 with an oxygen 3
filter, for a total imaging time of 2
hours 20 minutes.  A
QSI-583wsg with Baader filters
was used through an Astro-Pysics
130 mm refractor at f/5.
Music:  Peanuts Theme