NGC2264, the Cone Nebula, Christmas Tree Cluster, the Snowflake Cluster and the Fox Fur Nebula


Telescope: 16″ f3.75 Dream Scope
Camera: FLI ML16803
Mount: ASA DDM85
Exposure: 14 hours (61x300s Ha + 36x300s L + 3x23x300s RGB)
Date: November 2017 – February 2018
Location: Southern Alps, France


Because of bad weather in January (yes, even in the south of France) and maintenance work on my observatory, it took me some time to gather enough data for my latest picture, NGC2264.

NGC 2264 (in the constellation of Monoceros), the complex area of cosmic gas and dust is about 2,700 light-years distant and mixes reddish emission nebulae excited by energetic light from newborn stars with dark interstellar dust clouds. Where the otherwise obscuring dust clouds lie close to the hot, young stars they also reflect starlight, forming blue reflection nebulae. The image spans about 1 degree, covering 40 light-years at the distance of NGC 2264. The diffuse Cone Nebula, so named because of its apparent shape, lies in the southern part of NGC 2264. The Snowflake Cluster is part of the larger Christmas Tree Cluster. It consists of a compact group of bright protostars that appear geometrically arranged in a pattern similar to that of a single crystal of snow. The Fox Fur Nebula lies just to the north of the Cone Nebula, near the bright variable star S Monocerotis. It contains enormous quantities of interstellar dust and gas, which are illuminated by the massive young stars that are being formed within the nebula’s thick clouds.



4 Replies to “NGC2264, the Cone Nebula, Christmas Tree Cluster, the Snowflake Cluster and the Fox Fur Nebula”

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