The “Cygnus Wall” of Star Formation
This portion of the North America Nebula in the constellation – you guessed it – Cygnus, is a giant cloud of ionized gases where new stars are being created. It’s also pretty. These are both false color images, processed a couple of different ways. The first is the classic “Hubble Palette” that maps ionized emissions from Sulfur to red, Hydrogen to green, and Oxygen to blue. The second image where the cloud appears blue is the opposite – Oxygen is red, Hydrogen green, and Sulfur blue. In reality, the entire nebula appears red in visible wavelengths, but by imaging it through specialized filters, we can construct these more interesting views that tell us a little bit about its composition.