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Christmas Tree Cluster

Located in the constellation Monoceros, approximately 2600 light years distant, is NGC2264 which contains the Cone Nebula and Christmas Tree cluster.  Since this object doesn't fit into my field of view, what you see here is a close up of the Christmas Tree cluster and the associated emission nebula. The red glow arises from hydrogen gas that has been ionised by the ultraviolet light of young O and B stars.  The blue stars shine through dust creating a brilliant reflection reflection nebula.  This is also a star forming region which is known to contain three Herbig Haro objects.

This LRGB image has an Ha blend into the Lum and Red channels and represents 14.5 hours integration time, it was taken with my Esprit 150.


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