Cosmos NGC 7000

The North America Nebula (NGC 7000 or Caldwell 20) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, close to Deneb (the tail of the swan and its brightest star). It is named because its shape resembles North America.

On October 24, 1786, William Herschel observing from Slough, England, noted a “faint milky nebulosity scattered over this space, in some places pretty bright.” The most prominent region was catalogued by his son John Herschel on August 21, 1829. It was listed in the New General Catalogue as NGC 7000, where it is described as a “faint, most extremely large, diffuse nebulosity.”

In 1890, the pioneering German astrophotographer Max Wolf noticed this nebula’s characteristic shape on a long-exposure photograph, and dubbed it the North America Nebula.

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