27  May  2017
The Cone Nebula Region


By Ron Brecher

    This 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).



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