region, located in the constellation of Monoceros,
the Unicorn, contains the Cone Nebula and many
other fine jewels. The Cone Nebula around 2,700
light years away. The Christmas Tree Cluster is an
open cluster within the larger nebula, of which
the Cone forms a part. The cluster and nebula
together are referred to as NGC2264. The
Cone’s shape comes from a dark absorption nebula
consisting of cold molecular hydrogen and dust in
front of a faint emission nebula containing
hydrogen ionized by S Monocerotis, the brightest
star of NGC 2264.
To the upper right of the Cone lies a
triangular, comet-shaped object. This is Hubble’s
Variable Nebula (NGC2261). It is a patch of
glowing gas being illuminated by a variable star
(R Monocerotis, which can’t be directly seen), and
its brightness changes with the star’s brightness.
Two prominent open clusters, NGC2259 (upper left
of Cone) and Trumpler 5 (upper right Cone),
are also in this region.
Moravian G3-16200 EC camera (on loan from
O’Telescope), Optolong Ha, R, G and B filters,
106mm Tak FSQ-106 at f/3.6, Paramount MX, QHY5
guide camera 50mm f.l. guide scope. Acquisition
with the SkyX, Manually focused. All
pre-processing and processing in PixInsight.
Acquired from my SkyShed in Guelph.
Gibbous moon for Ha, no moon for RGB,
average transparency and poor seeing.
4x15m and 2x20m R, 8x15m G, 9x15m B and
7x20m Ha (total=8hr15m).