Cygnus Nebula Complex by Aggelos Kechagias

By Jo on

This image of the Cygnus Nebula Complex by Aggelos Kechagias is an enormous 12 panel mosaic taken with an Atik 428EX, showing the incredible collection of nebulae within one of the most recognisable constellations in the night sky. On the lower right-hand side you can see the entirety of the Veil Nebula (NGC 6960, 6979, 6992, 6995) which forms the brightest part of a larger structure known as the Cygnus Loop. Over to the left sits the North America Nebula (NGC 7000), one of the largest emission nebulae in the night sky, separated from the Pelican Nebula (IC 5070) by a dark absorption cloud. Towards the top centre-right of the image, the Tulip Nebula (Sh2-101) blooms near Cygnus X-1, the site of one the first suspected black holes, while the Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888) drifts away to the left below. The dark Northern Coalsack sits in the centre of the image with supergiant Deneb to its left, one of the brightest stars in our galaxy with a luminosity of around 200,000 Suns.

“The mosaic was taken at 9th National Star Party of Greek Amateur Astronomers at Fillipaioi Grevenon. I used an EQ6 with a Nikon 50mm lens and an Atik 428EX with an Orion finderguider . I also used a manual Atik filterwheel with Baader Ha, OIII and SII filters on it. The Ha was taken with a Nikon 50mm lens (12 panel 2x900sec each panel) and SII and OIII were taken with a Sigma 20mm lens (10x900sec each filter). The focusing was operated with Pegasus astro dual motor focus. The project lasted 3 days and was completed fully in Photoshop with photomerge.” – Aggelos Kechagias

The majority of nebulae captured in this image are at a distance of around 2,000 light years away, while some, like the Tulip Nebula, are even further. Atik Cameras use the latest in CCD technology and custom electronics to help you capture even the faintest signals and go deeper into the universe than ever before. Find out more.