NGC 2264 and the Fox Fur Nebula

Posted by macnmotion
on Sunday, March 18, 2018

NGC 2264 is a region of HII gas clouds in the constellation Monoceros. The gas cloud includes the Cone Nebula and the Christmas Tree Cluster. Hydrogen gas, stimulated by the light from many hot blue stars, emits red light across the 2-degree field of view of this image. The Fox Fur Nebula, at the center of the image, is named for its resemblance to a fox fur stole. The blue area next to it is a reflection nebula, with gas reflecting the light from bright blue stars.

This image was shot with our 4-telescope array comprising four Officina Stellare RH300 f/3 scopes, two FLI 29052 cameras and two FLI 16803 cameras. While this object was only visible to us for 3-1/2 hours a night, we were able to capture almost 14 hours of data in that time. The final image is displayed in the HOS palette, with Hydrogen Alpha, Oxygen 3 and Sulfur 2 filters mapped to Red, Green and Blue channels respectively. 11 hours of Blue subexposures were added to enhance the reflection nebula, and short Red, Green and Blue exposures were added for true star color. In total, 1,143 individual images totaling 87 hours were collected. The imaging system is controlled with a custom version of Voyager software and was processed in PixInsight and Photoshop.

Shot and processed by the SC Observatory team: Mike Selby, Stefan Schmidt and Andy Chatman.

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