The image above is a close up of a section of the Cygnus Wall located approximately 1800 light-years from the Earth in the North American Nebula. (NGC7000) The North American Nebula derives its name from the shape that resembles the continent of North America and the Cygnus Wall defines the Mexican and Central America regions. This image is centered at RA of 20:58:03 and Dec 43:26:56 located in the “Central America” or “southern” portion of the Cygnus Wall. The Cygnus Wall is an area of active star formation. Many new stars are embedded in the dark clouds of the nebula and are not visible in optical light images. They are revealed in infrared images and are the subject of scientific research. A major source of ionizing radiation illuminating NGC7000, as determined by recent infrared studies, is thought to be a massive O-type star located behind dense dust clouds and not visible in optical telescopes.
The image above is known as a mapped, or false, color image and was acquired using narrowband filters. It was assembled using the standard Hubble palette with SII mapped to Red, Ha mapped to Green and OIII mapped to Blue. The stars were overlaid with color data from a separate RGB image.