NGC 2244 Rosette Nebula and star cluster (version 3)
This is an update on my Rosette Nebula data set from 2013. I've added in 120 minutes of OII data, and 90 minutes of H alpha which significantly improve the contrast and resolution. I've also rotated the image to bring the smaller details to the "foreground".
The young stars of the central open cluster NGC2244 are sculpting out a giant hollow in the middle of the Rosette Nebula. Given that the whole nebula is about 130 light years across, the the scale of their work is huge. The Rosette nebula contains many dark clouds and a number of small globular dark structures called Bok globules. The nebula is a large, circular H II region located near one end of a giant molecular cloud in the Monoceros region of the Milky Way Galaxy. The open star cluster NGC 2244 (Caldwell 50) is closely associated with the nebulosity, the stars of the cluster having been formed from the nebula's matter.
The cluster and nebula lie at a distance of some 5,200 light-years from Earth, and measure roughly 130 light years in diameter. The radiation from the young stars excite the atoms in the nebula, causing them to emit radiation themselves producing the pinky red emission nebula we see. The mass of the nebula is estimated to be around 10,000 solar masses.
A survey of the nebula with the Chandra X-ray Observatory in 2001 has revealed the presence of very hot, young stars at the core of the Rosette Nebula. These stars have heated the surrounding gas to a temperature in the order of 6 million K causing them to emit copious amounts of X-rays.
Orion Optics UK AG16 Astrograph: SBIG 11000 M: Paramount ME2 Mount
Data capture with CCD Autopilot and TheSkyX Pro, with Tpoint
Image processing with CCS Stack; Pixinsight; Photoshop CS5
R,G,B: 95 minutes; H alpha 90 mins; O III 120 mins
305 mins total: 5hrs 5 mins, all binned 1x1