NGC 2264 Wide Field
Located in the constellation of Monoceros the Unicorn, NGC 2264 is an open cluster of stars imbedded in a diffuse nebula. Both reflection nebula [the blue portions which are reflecting light from nearby stars] and emission nebula [the red portions consisting of glowing hydrogen gas excited by radiation from nearby stars] are seen in this image.
Also seen at the bottom of the NGC 2264 cluster is the Cone Nebula.
NGC 2264 and the Cone Nebula were both discovered by William Herschel in 1784 and 1785. Both NGC 2264 and the Cone Nebula belong to a much larger active star forming region.
Also seen to the right of NGC 2264 in this wide field image is the gold-colored open cluster Trumpler 5.
December 27, 2011
Three hour exposure - one hour for each of the red green and blue filtered exposures.
Vallecito County Park, Anza-Borrego Desert, San Diego County, California.
Optics - Takahashi Epsilon 160 f/3.3 astrograph
Mount - Astro-Physics AP 1200 GTO
Camera - SBIG STL-11000M