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Astr111 Photography Projects, Spring 2007

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Rosette Nebula (NGC 2244), Greg Triezenberg

Rosette Nebula

The gases surrounding star cluster NGC 2244 form the Rosette Nebula. It mostly consists of ten-thousand degree hydrogen gas, giving the nebula its beautiful red glow, but small amounts of oxygen and sulfur give it a slight blue and green tints. The gas emits color as it falls back to lower energy states after becoming super energized by the ultraviolet light of the star cluster, especially the very hot blue stars. This is why it is called an emission type of nebula. The star cluster also consists of over 300 young, individual low mass stars in the center of the nebula. Using X-ray telescopes, we can also see there are multi-million degree stellar winds coming from the star cluster and running through the nebula. Located about 5000 light-years away near the Monoceros constellation, the star cluster itself is very bright and can even be seen by the naked eye under good conditions. The nebula itself was discovered by John Flamsteed around the year 1690.

The NGC 2244 star cluster can be seen just to the right of the center of this picture. The red hydrogen gas clouds of the nebula can be just made out around the edges. The nebula is about 24 arc minutes across, making it unfortunately large, so it extends just outside the scope of this photo. This also implies that the nebula (at 5000 light-years from Earth) is about 34.9 light-years across. The oxygen and sulfur clouds, being less pronounced than the hydrogen, isn't readily visible in this picture.

References:
Rector, T. A. " The Rosette Nebula in Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulfur." Astronomy Picture of the Day.
<http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap000111.html>

Frommert, Hartmut and Kronberg, Christine. "NGC 2244 and the Rosette Nebula NGC 2237-9." Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. <http://www.seds.org/messier/xtra/ngc/n2244.html>

Cuillandre, J. C. & Fahlman, G. "NGC 2244: A Star Cluster in the Rosette Nebula." Astronomy Picture fo the Day. <http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap000822.html>

"Scientists Find X-Rays from Stellar Winds That May Play a Significant role in Galactic Evolution." Chandra Press Room. <http://chandra.harvard.edu/press/01_releases/press_090601wind.html>

Arnett, Bill. "Types of Nebulea." Nine Planets. <http://astro.nineplanets.org/twn/types.html>

 

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

5x60 seconds in BVR, 20x15 seconds in C

Date observed

March 3, 2007