The North America Nebula is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus. It resembles the North America continent with both a Florida-like peninsula and a Gulf of Mexico. It’s a fairly bright object with a magnitude of +4.0 making it an easy object to photograph with a telephoto lens. This image was captured with a Nikon 180mm AIS ƒ/2.8 telephoto.
Adjacent to the North America Nebula is the Pelican Nebula separated by a molecular cloud filled with dark dust.
The North America Nebula has been on my To-Photograph list for a while. I had made one quick attempt previously to see whether I could actually resolve it with my Nikon 85mm f/1.8 lens. That was successful so I was ready to try again when the situation permitted.
I finally found the time, the right weather, and the right conditions. I shot a sequence of seven, 120-second exposures.
There are many star-stacking software packages available and I’ve often used DeepSkyStacker (DSS). More recently I’ve been testing StarrySkyStacker (a macOS-only app). The results have been pretty good.
The stacking complete, it was time to work on the histogram. Again, there are many histogram stretching packages. I’ve been evaluating rnc-color-stretch, available from Clarkvision.com. rnc-color-stretch is a set of scripts that calls the davinci application (not to be confused with the DaVinci Resolve video editing software).