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Astr111 Photography Projects, Spring 2007

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Rosetta Nebula (NGC 2244), Stephanie Brinks

NGC 2244

The Rosette Nebula is located 4,700 light years away, near the Perseus Arm in the Milky Way galaxy. The nebula, which is an estimated 130 light years away, is a wondrously huge cloud of gas and dust. NGC 2244 was discovered by William Herschel in 1784 and is an open cluster near the center of the nebula. An open cluster is formed by thousands of stars that are gravitationally bound together. Eventually these stars will all be separated. The intense radiation and solar wind being emitted from the massive stars is what makes parts of the nebula hollow. NGC 2244 is always expanding and will eventually release stars from their nebulosity. Star formation is also still in progress within the nebula which makes this vast cluster of stars truly a fascinating astronomical object.

This picture of the open cluster NGC 2244 is full of bright stars and waves of red hydrogen gas produced from the Rosetta Nebula. As you can see in the photograph, some of the stars are bigger and brighter than others. Some of the stars are blue which make them stand out among all the reds and yellows. These stars are relatively new and so they are hotter, making them appear larger. These are the same stars that have created the open cluster because of their emission of radiation. The estimate size of the Rosetta Nebula, which is larger than our field of view (24 arc minutes across), is around 80X60 arc minutes.


Frommert, Hartmut and Kronberg, Christine. "NGC 2244 and the Rosetta Nebula NGC 2237-9." Students for the Exploration and Development of Space.



Powell, Richard. "NGC 2237, 2238, 2239, 2246 - The Rosetta Nebula" Atlas of the Universe.




Right Ascension (J2000) 06:32:24
Declination (J2000) 04:52:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5 x 60 seconds each in BVRC
Date observed

May 3, 2007