Pelican Nebula - DSLR
The long beak of the Pelican
Nebula
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.

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.

The image to the left combined 21
exposures of 10 minutes each
using a Canon 6D DSLR
(Hutech-modified) through an
Astro-Physics 12"
Riccardi-Honders Astrograph, for
a total exposure time of 3 hours
30 minutes.

Compare to the image below,
obtained 10 years earlier with an
astronomical CCD camera.  This
image combined 84 Luminance
images with a red filter, with 20
red, 20 green, and 28 blue
one-minute images, for a total
imaging time of 2 hours 32
minutes.  An ST10XME camera
was used through a 4 inch
refractor.
Music:  Peanuts Theme
click for larger image