With the perpetual poor weather I've gone back and taken some time to work on some old, and rather scruffy data. This set really did not like to be played with! Still I've had it in the library for a long while now and wanted to get some life out of it. I find it a very interesting region after all.
I hope to do a wide field of the whole region and include the Rosette if the clouds ever part. Having another look with the quattro and getting some better exposures would also be nice.
The Christmas Tree cluster, an object I want to revisit this winter actually. The Cone nebula is top of frame.
The Cone Nebula is an H II region in the constellation of Monoceros. It was discovered by William Herschel on December 26, 1785. The nebula is located about 2,700 light-years away from Earth. The Cone Nebula forms part of the nebulosity surrounding the Christmas Tree Cluster. The designation of NGC 2264 in the New General Catalogue refers to both objects and not the nebula alone.
The diffuse Cone Nebula, so named because of its apparent shape, lies in the southern part of NGC 2264, the northern part being the magnitude-3.9 Christmas Tree Cluster. It is in the northern part of Monoceros, just north of the midpoint of a line from Procyon to Betelgeuse.
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 Monocerotis, the brightest star of NGC 2264. The faint nebula is approximately seven light-years long (with an apparent length of 10 arcminutes), and is 2,700 light-years away from Earth. The nebula is part of a much larger star-forming complex.
Looking for Orion's Belt in the night sky is the easiest way to locate Orion in the sky. The stars are more or less evenly spaced in a straight line, and so can be visualized as the belt of the hunter's clothing. They are best visible in the early night sky during the Northern Winter/Southern Summer, in particular the month of January at around 9.00 pmThe Horsehead Nebula and Flame Nebula (leftmost red nebulae) are located just to the south of the star Alnitak, which is farthest east on Orion's Belt, and is part of the much larger Orion Molecular Cloud Complex. The horse head itself is a dark nebula