The name “Pelican Nebula” refers to the distinctive shape of the nebula that resembles a pelican. However, the nebula is also known by other names depending on which parts of the nebula are being referred to. Some of these names include:
- IC 5070: The official designation of the Pelican Nebula in the Index Catalogue (IC) astronomical database.
- Caldwell 31: A designation for the Pelican Nebula in the Caldwell Objects list created by astronomer Patrick Moore.
- Sharpless 117: A designation for the part of the nebula that is classified as an HII region, created by astronomer Stewart Sharpless in his catalog of emission nebulae.
- LBN 50: A designation for the part of the nebula that is classified as an emission nebula and listed in Lynds’ Catalogue of Bright Nebulae.
Something about its location.
The Pelican Nebula (IC 5070) is located in the constellation Cygnus (the Swan). Cygnus is a northern constellation and can be seen from latitudes between +90° and -40°. It is one of the most prominent constellations in the summer sky in the northern hemisphere.
The Pelican Nebula is located in the northeastern part of Cygnus, close to the border with the neighboring constellation Pegasus. It is positioned at right ascension 20h 50m 48s and declination +44° 20′ 48″.
The region surrounding the Pelican Nebula is rich in star-forming activity, and it is part of a larger complex of nebulosity known as the North America Nebula. The Pelican Nebula is a particularly active site of star formation, with a number of young, hot stars located within its boundaries. It is an emission nebula, meaning that the gas within it is ionized by the intense ultraviolet radiation from these hot stars, causing it to glow brightly. The nebula is also known for its distinctive shape, which resembles that of a pelican, with a long “bill” and “head” extending to the left and a “body” extending to the right.
Brightsness and size
The Pelican Nebula (IC 5070) has an overall brightness of about 8.0 mag, making it relatively bright for a nebula. However, the brightness of the nebula can vary depending on which parts of the nebula are being observed.
Near the center of the nebula are some of the hottest and most luminous stars that are responsible for ionizing the gas. These stars are particularly bright and can cause the area around them to appear brighter than the rest of the nebula. The brightest part of the nebula has a brightness of about 6.0 mag.
The brightness of the Pelican Nebula can vary depending on observing conditions and equipment. Under optimal conditions, it can be visible to the naked eye as a diffuse patch in the sky, but is best observed through telescopes or binoculars.