|NGC 7000-North America Nebula: Emission Nebula (Cygnus) RA: 20h 58.0m / DEC: +44° 20'.0|
Instrument: 10x50 Binoculars
Observing the North America Nebula is no problem at all--if your skies are true dark. To illustrate this, I like to tell the story of a friend who was visiting during the week of new Moon in June a few years ago. This was his first time observing under truly dark skies and he was excited about what lay ahead, "I can't wait to finally see the North America Nebula," he said. Pointing nearly overhead I responded, "Oh, you mean that." Incredulously, he looked up and his jaw dropped, "Oh my God! I can see it with the naked eye!"
NGC 7000, the North America Nebula, is a test of the quality of your observing site. If this object isn't obvious to the naked eye, then your site is decidedly less than pristine. The sketch at left captures an unfiltered view through my 10x50 binoculars. The binocs offer a wide 7.0 degree true field of view and a stunning presentation of this showpiece of the summer sky.
Magnitude 1.3 Deneb lies inside the west field boundary, 3.1 degrees west-northwest of NGC 7000. Xi (62) Cygni, a 3.7 magnitude star, shines near the southeast boundary. These sparklers are separated by 4.4 degrees. A rich tangle of nebulosity including the North America Nebula lies between. The brightest section includes Central and North America. This appears about 53' west-northwest of Xi Cygni. A relatively close double star is visible just south of center--in the Bermuda Triangle region--in the drawing. Magnitude 4.8 57 Cygni is the dominant member with 7.2 magnitude HD 199178 visible 7' to the east. 5.0 magnitude 56 Cygni shines 39' southwest of 57 Cygni. And 4.8 magnitude 55 Cygni is seen 2.1 degrees due north of 56 Cygni. Most of the field is awash in nebulousity, so much that distinguishing the North America Nebula is a real challenge.
Layout, design & revisions © W. D. Ferris
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Revised: September 6, 2005 [WDF]