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The Cone Nebula (Sh2-273)

The origin of the mysterious cone-shaped region seen on the center remains a mystery. The interstellar formation, dubbed the Cone Nebula, is located about 2700 light years away. Other features in the image include red emission from diffuse interstellar hydrogen, wispy filaments of dark dust, and bright star S Monocerotis. Blue reflection nebulae surround the brighter stars visible on the center. The dark Cone Nebula region clearly contains much dust which blocks light from the emission nebula and open cluster NGC 2264 behind it. One hypothesis holds that the Cone Nebula is formed by wind particles from an energetic source blowing past the Bok Globule at the head of the cone.
(Text adapted from APOD).

The full-resolution version of this image is about 284 Megapixels and has a resolution of about 1 arc-second per pixel. The area of sky shown here is about 4,7 x 4,7 (for comparison, the full-Moon disc has an average diameter of about 0,5). The color composite has been completed on April 24, 2005.
The full-resolution image
can generally be obtained. Typical applications are reproduction in books, magazines and periodicals, use for public exhibitions in planetariums, museums, talks, etc. If interested, please read my policy or e-mail me with your request.

Copyright: Davide De Martin.


This color composite image is based on data coming from several photographic plates taken between 1989 and 1992 through the Palomar Observatory's 48-inch (1,2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope as a part of the second National Geographic Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS II). The photographs were recorded on two type of glass photographic plates - one sensitive to red light and the other to blue - that later were digitized.
Credit:
Caltech, Palomar Observatory, Digitized Sky Survey.

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All images presented in this website are copyrighted Davide De Martin (2005-2014) otherwise noted. Reproduction or distribution of these images is not permitted without written consent. See also my policy of the use of images for further details or email me. Comments are welcome.
The astronomical images presented in this site were created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator.