Rosette Nebula and Cluster NGC 2244

The Rosette Nebula is a large, circular emission nebula in the constellation Monoceros. It surrounds a cluster of hot, young stars known as the Rosette Cluster (NGC 2244).

The Rosette is at a distance of some 5,200 light years, near one end of a large molecular cloud in Monoceros. Its diameter is about 130 light years, and the central hole is about 30 light years across. The nebula is estimated to contain around 10,000 solar masses.

The open cluster NGC 2244 at the centre is closely associated with the nebulosity, having recently formed from the nebula itself. Ultraviolet radiation from its hot O-type stars energizes the nebula, causing it to fluoresce. They heat the surrounding gas to a temperature around 6 million K.

Stellar winds from this group of stars have swept out the hollow at the center of the Rosette. These winds exert pressure on the interstellar cloud, and compress it. This leads to star formation, which is currently still ongoing.

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Imaged 12 February 2013 @ 10.00pm
Canon 7D
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L @ 200 – Piggy Backed on Celestron CPC
ISO 1600
Stacked Image – 50 x 20 sec

 


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