Pelican Nebula (IC 5070)
A large area of emission nebula in the constellation
Cygnus, close to Deneb,
and divided from its brighter, larger neighbor, the North
America Nebula, by a molecular cloud
filled with dark dust. The Pelican is much studied because it has a highly
active mix of star formation and
evolving gas clouds. The light from young energetic stars is slowly transforming
cold gas to hot and causing an ionization front gradually to advance outward.
Particularly dense filaments of cold gas are seen to still remain. Millions
of years from now this nebula might no longer be known as the Pelican, as
the balance and placement of stars and gas will leave something that appears
||60' × 50'
||1,800 light-years (550 pc)
||R.A. 20h 51m, Dec. +44° 00'
|Close-up of the Pelican Nebula ionization
Credit: University of Colorado, University of Hawaii, and NOAO/AURA/NSF
AND STAR CLUSTERS