NGC2264 Christmas Tree Cluster

Image information:

Date: 01/04/2009
Equipment: SBIG ST2000XM with CFW10 and Astrodon I series Gen II LRGB filter set through WO ZS105ED telescope on Losmandy GM8 mount. WO ZS105ED working at f5.6 with WO 0.8X reducer/flattener.
Image type: LRGB
Exposure time: 8X10min Luminance binned 1X1, RG&B 8X5min each binned 2X2

Object information:

Object designations:

Christmas Tree Cluster, Cone Nebula, Fox Fur Nebula NGC2264
Object type:
Open cluster embedded in a diffuse nebula
Object size:
60' for the whole complex
Constellation: Monoceros

NGC2264 is collective designation for a big star forming region in the constellation of Monoceros. Most prominent objects in the region are the Christmas Tree Cluster, the Cone Nebula and the Fox Fur Nebula. Christmas Tree Cluster is an open cluster of some 40 young stars. Stars of the cluster are responsible for exciting gas and dust in the region and generating light.

At the bottom of the Christmas Tree there is a giant star S Mon which is 8700 times more luminous than the Sun. Where obscuring dust clouds lay close to young stars, they reflect their light, forming the bluish reflection areas of the nebulosity. At the top of the Christmas tree there is the Cone Nebula. The Cone Nebula is a pillar of dust, 7 ly long, shaped by wind of particles from some nearby energetic source. Fox Fur Nebula is situated close to the reflection area at the bottom of the Christmas tree. Its interesting shape is formed by complex interactions of dust, light and jets of hot gas from the nearby young stars.

NGC2264 is 2700 ly distant and has some 70 ly across.


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