The Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237-2239) in Hydrogen Alpha

Rosette Nebula in Ha
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

Please click here or on image for a higher resolution view.
Please check the composite between the above Ha SXV-H9 image and my Canon 10D image.

Magnitude:  4.8 (for NGC 2244 star cluster in center)
Size: 80' x 60'
Distance: 5500 light years
RA: 6h 31m
Dec: 4 degrees 57' 00"

The Rosette Nebula is a winter showpiece for astrophotographers, as well as for visual observers at low power.  This large emission nebula is located in Monoceros and can be seen in dark locations with the naked eye, especially if viewed through a UHC filter held up to the sky.  The nebula actually consists of several sections (NGC 2237-2239), with a central ladder like star formation known as NGC 2244.  The central stars are young and newly-formed, and their radiation is responsible for excitation of hydrogen atoms within the nebula itself, which in turn emit light in the red.  Make sure to check out the composite between my Canon 10D image and the above Ha SXV-H9 image.

Photographic Details:

Date:  February 23, 2004
Scope:  Takahashi Sky 90 at f4.5 with field flattener/focal reducer, piggybacked on LX90 (which is mounted on a Meade Superwedge).
Autoguider:  STV with e-finder.
Camera:  SXV-H9.
Filter:  Astronomik Ha.
Exposures:  24 x 5' for a total of 120' exposure.
Conditions:  Temperature 25 degrees F; below average transparency; above average seeing; mild wind.
No dark or bias frames used.  Auto-aligned in MaximDL; Sigma combine using RC Sigma Reject MaximDL, followed by DDP adjustment in ImagesPlus.  Levels and curves adjustments in Photoshop CS.  Smoothing performed using the Neat Image plug in (v3.17 Pro Plus), followed by selective unsharp masking of certain areas.

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