NGC2264 – The Cone Nebula


The Cone Nebula (NGC2264) is an active region of starbirth, where new stars form inside a cloud of dust and gas. The hot newborn stars shower the cloud with intense radiation, illuminating its interior while simultaneously eroding it. The Cone is about seven light years long, and the head is about 2½ light years across.

To the north (right) of the Cone lies a vast expanse of glowing gas and stars known as the Christmas Tree Cluster, only part of which is shown here. This image was exposed through a hydrogen-alpha filter emphasize the nebula's details.

NGC2264 The Cone Nebula
Celestron 9¼" at f/5.6 on a Celestron CGE equatorial mount
SBIG ST-8XM camera
Optec IFW filter wheel with Astrodon TruBalance LRGB filters
Optec TCF-S focuser
Optec Pyxis camera rotator
Guide scope: Celestron 100mm f/5 refractor and ST-402 camera.
Imaging and autoguiding with MaxIm DL 4.11
Exposure Hydrogen-alpha: 8.3 hours (25 x 20 min.) unbinned @ -25°C
Processing Dark and flat frame reduction in CCDSoft
SD-combined in MaxIm
Further processing in Photoshop CS
Date and Location 11 November & 22-23 December 2005
Montpelier, VA    N 37° 49' 12", W 77° 42' 06"