Best of AOP - Diffuse Nebulae

Christmas Tree Cluster and Cone Nebula Region

The Cone Nebula is located at the southern end of star cluster NGC 2264, in Monoceros. It is a column of dark dust, six lightyears long, near some of the newly-formed hot blue stars of the cluster.

This object parallels the dust pillars seen in the Eagle Nebula, where regions of thick dust and gas resist being cleared away by the intense ultraviolet radiation from young giant stars. The edge of the column, especially the tip, is bright with red light from ionized hydrogen.

This nebula and the cluster that illuminates it are about 2600 lightyears away.

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Last Updated: 06-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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Takahashi FSQ-106

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Two iterations of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp were applied to the luminance image.

Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the very dim and very bright details of

the image simultaneously.

Luminance = Hα (105 minutes) + RGB (synthetic) binned 1x1

Red = 30 minutes (+ Hα blend) binned 1x1

Green = 30 minutes binned 1x1

Blue = 30 minutes binned 1x1

Minimum credit line: Laura Baird/Flynn Haase/NOAO/AURA/NSF