Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree Cluster, NGC 2264
Copyright 2011
Larry Phillips
NGC 2264, Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree Cluster in the constellation Monoceros

The diffuse Cone Nebula, so named because of its apparent shape, lies in the southern part of NGC 2264 which is to the left in this image, the northern part being the Christmas Tree Cluster. 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 Monocerotos, the brightest star of NGC 2264. The faint nebula is approximately seven light-years long.


Distance: 2400 - 2700 light years.
Size: Cone Nebula only is 7 ly long.
Camera: SBIG ST-2000XM
Telescope: Astrophysics Starfire 130 EDT F8 with .75 telecompressor
Mount: Losmandy G11 with Gemini Control with Advanced Telescope Systems
                 portable pier
Images: 20 luminance @ 5 minutes,17 red, 15 green,& 15 blue images also at 5
                 minutes each for a total exposure time of 335 minutes (5 hours & 35
                 minutes).

Date: December 14, 2007
Software: Camera and guider control - CCDSoft, calibration, stacking, & creation of color image - CCDStack, further processing in Photoshop CS2.