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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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Christmas Tree Cluster (NGC 2264), Danielle Cutter

Christmas Tree Cluster

The Christmas Tree Cluster is an open cluster of about 40 stars in the constellation Monoceros, ( 10 degrees to the east of Betelgeuse (Orion), which are immersed in nebulosity and form the nearly perfect outline of a fir tree. An open cluster is a loose aggregation of dozens or hundreds of young stars, in a volume of space typically less than 50 light-years across, that is only weakly held together by gravity and is fated to disperse over a period of several hundred million years.

What you see in the above photo is a picture of one of the brightest stars in the Christmas Tree Cluster. This bright 5th magnitude star forms the base of the Christmas Tree Cluster. The cluster is 2500 light years away .

References:
The Encyclopedia of Astrobiology Astronomy and Spaceflight

University of Vienna

Right Ascension (J2000) 6:42:23
Declination (J2000) +9:57:57
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

April 15 , 2006 (BVRC)