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Christmas Tree Cluster, Cone and Fox Fur Nebulae

The Christmas Tree Cluster, also known as NGC 2264, is a well-studied region in the Monoceros (the Unicorn) constellation. The Christmas Tree Cluster, the blue reflection nebula surrounding bright stars, was so named because it looks like a tree in visible light. The nebula is roughly 2,500 light-years away.
Atop the image the well known Cone Nebula is also visible
. The Cone Nebula region clearly contains much dust which blocks light from the emission nebula and open cluster NGC 2264 behind it.
The Fox Fur Nebula ha
s a strange shape originate from fine interstellar dust reacting in complex ways with the energetic light and hot gas being expelled by the young stars.

Full-res file is about 51 Megapixels with a resolution of about 1 arcsec per pixel. It shows an area of sky large 1,9 x 2,1 (for comparison, the full-Moon has a diameter of about 0,5).
The image is available for Museum, Planetariums, exhibitions, publishers and authors in very high-resolution. If interested in using the image, please read my policy or e-mail me with your request.

Copyright: Davide De Martin.


This color 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 and later they 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.