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Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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Rosette Nebula , Sunny Passaglia

Rosette Nebula

This is a picture taken of the very centre of an emmision nebula called the rosette nebula. An emmision nebula is simply a large amount of interstellar gas that is iluminated by some energy source nearby. There two significant objects that can be seen in this photograph. The red gas from the rosette nebula can be seen faintly in the background, and the star cluster NGC 2244 can be seen shining brightly in the foreground. This bright cluster of stars gives a very dramatic effect to the the image of the Rosette Nebula. The bright red gas collects more dramatically near the outside of this circular nebula( outside the boundaries of this photograph) and become more sparse in the center right around this star cluster. This dramatic contrast in the center, along with the circular shape of this object and its red coloring all contribute to its very appropriate name. The central star cluster can be seen easily with the naked eye within the constellation Monoceros. The Nebula, however, is not bright enough to see without a telescope, but with assisted vision an observer can see that it appears very large in our sky. It takes up more visual space than six times the area of a full moon.

You can see a faint red colored gas surrounding the bright stars. This red gas is hydrogen. the picture has been tinted slightly red in order to make the gas more visible. The bright stars in the middle are very new and very hot. these qualities contribute to the scarcity of hydrogen gas in the center of the nebula because the wind from this bright hot star cluster NGC 2244 blows the gas away from the center. Along with the distribution of gas, the star cluster also contributes to the brightness of gas by giving off ultraviolet light which makes the gas glow. Rosette Nebula is believed to be 4,900 light years distant with an estimated diameter of 90 light years. 

References:

Nemiroff, Robert and Jerry Bonnell, " Rosette Nebula",Astronomy Picture of ........the Day. <http//antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap000111.html>

"Rosette Emmision line image". Association of Universities for research in . . . .......Astronomy. <http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im0557.html>

"Emmision Nebulae" NOAO Image galery. ......<http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/emission_nebulae.html>

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Right Ascension (J2000) 6:32:24
Declination (J2000) +04:52:00
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

March 14, 2006 (RV)
March 21, 2006 (C)
March 8, 2006 ( B)