The Cone Nebula in Hydrogen Alpha

Cone Nebula
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

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Magnitude:  3.9 (for bluish Christmas tree cluster region)
Size: About 1 degree (including Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree Cluster region)
Distance: 2400 light years (Cone Nebula)
RA: 6h 41m 06s
Dec: 9 degrees 52' 59"

The Cone Nebula is the conical dark nebula in the lower left corner of the field, pointing towards the prominent Christmas Tree Cluster (so named because it looks like a Christmas tree when viewed vertically).  This region is referred to as NGC 2264 and is part of a larger nebula complex called the Monoceros Loop, that includes the Rosette Nebula.   I framed this in order to capture the prominent dark nebula in the lower right half of the image.  This region is full of Ha emission, flooding the field with a diffuse white "glow."

Photographic Details:

Date:  1/16/06.

Takahashi Sky 90 at f4.5 with field flattener/focal reducer, on the G11 Losmandy Mount.
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder.
Camera:  Maxcam CM10. 
The image scale of this set up is 3.46"/pixel, with a FOV of approximately 1.4 x 2 degrees.
Filter:  Astronomiks Ha filter (6 nm bandpass).
Exposures:  24 x 10' each.  Total exposure 4 hours.
Conditions:  Temperature 20 degrees F, average transparency; average seeing; a few clouds; intermittent breeze; waning gibbous moon.
Image Processing:  Subs were debloomed with Ron Wodaski's Debloomer software, calibrated and aligned in MaximDL.  Sigma combined using RC Sigma Reject MaximDL, followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Subsequent processing in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).

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