North American Nebula
North American Nebula,bright diffuse nebula in the northern constellation Cygnus about 1000 light-years away; cataloged as NGC 7000. It has a configuration resembling parts of Canada and the United States (including the Gulf of Mexico), Mexico, and Central America.
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North American Nebula[′nȯrth ə′mer·i·kən ′neb·yə·lə]
A cloud of dust and gas in the constellation Cygnus; the density of this gas and dust is possibly a thousand times greater than the average density of interstellar gas; a much denser cloud of dust between the nebula and earth obscures portions of the emission nebula to create the appearance of the “Gulf of Mexico” and the “Atlantic Ocean.”
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.