The North America Nebula

The most prominent part of this sprawling Cygnus nebula is the dark "Gulf of Mexico" surrounded by "Florida", "Mexico", and "Central America". The shape is defined by foreground clouds of dark dust, with the bright nebula a more uniform sheet behind them.

This was made with my 92mm refractor. The nebula is too big to fit comfortably into its field of view. A lens of about 400mm would be better, but I have no complaint about this image with its delicious grape-purple colors. Ten years ago I would not have thought I'd be able to make such pretty deep sky images.

Image copyright by Joe Bergeron.