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NGC 2264
Object Information:

NGC 2264 - The Christmas Tree Cluster

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.

The star cluster and its associated nebulosity are approximately 2600 light years from earth.

Follow this link to a 1800 x 1361 pixel version of the color image.

Follow this link to a 1800 x 1361 pixel version of the luminance channel for this image.

Image date:

December 18-19, 2017

Exposure Information:

Luminance = 90 minutes --> 60 x 90 seconds
RG&B filters = 104 min. each --> 26 x 240 seconds

Imaged at:

San Diego Astronomy Association site at Tierra del Sol, San Diego County, California

Equipment:

Stellarvue SVQ100 + ZWO ASI1600MM-Cooled