D. Heilman Astrophotography

NGC 7000 Cygnus Wall

The Great Wall in Cygnus is a bright and dynamic region in the greater North America Nebula. It comprises the area where the Mexican peninsula and gulf would be and much of the filed is obscured with a large dust cloud that exists between Earth and the nebula. Interestingly, the stars that irradiate the nebula have yet to be identified though it is theorized that they are likely hidden behind the Wall itself and the great cloud of dust as both of these features look to be illuminated from behind. In fact, the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope was used to image this region in 2011 and it was discovered that many “cocoons” bearing young stellar clusters are hatching throughout the region and are almost entirely hidden in the dust though revealed in infrared (Rebull et al. 2011). The clusters also contain stars in many stages of life, some of which appear to be forming solar discs harboring potential proto-planets. Currrent estimates place the nebula at an 1800 light year distance from Earth, a number which can be refined once more stars within the complex are discovered.