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

Rosette Nebula in Ha
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

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Please click here for this image in mapped color.
Please click here for an earlier image with the Sky90/SXV-H9.

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.

Photographic Details:

Date:  December 27, 2005.
Scope:  Takahashi FS-102 at f6 with TOA-130 focal reducer, on the G11 Losmandy Mount.
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder.
Camera:  Maxcam CM10.

Astronomiks 6nm Ha filter.
Exposures:  24 x 10' unbinned, total exposure 4 hours.
Conditions:  Temperature 30 degrees F, average transparency, average seeing, a slight breeze, clouds invaded early, then cleared later for a good session.
Post-processing:  Subs were debloomed using Ron Wodaski's Debloomer, and then calibrated and aligned in Maxim.  Combined using RC Sigma Combine, followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Further processing in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).

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