NGC 2244 and Sh 2-275 - The Rosette Nebula

Posted by Jeremy Perez
on Wednesday, December 15, 2010

If you find yourself at a dark site with Orion and Monoceros sprawled across the meridian, don't pass up this gorgeous showpiece of the winter sky. While at Sunset Crater National Monument, working on a set of observing/sketching projects, I spent some time refining a previous observation and sketch of the Rosette Nebula. I used my previous sketch as a starting point, tracing that star field to a new sheet of paper, thus allowing more time to focus on the subtle nebulosity.

As before, the nebulosity was visible unfiltered, but adding the Ultrablock filter helped immensely. The central hollow was bordered by a rather straight run of nebulosity to the north. The western edge of the hollow peeled away along the northwest edge, forming a beak-like appendage. The nebula seemed to curl away on the southwestern side, allowing an opening to form on the south edge of the central void. Two nested arcs of nebulosity wrapped the east side to complete the shroud. Further out on the north east edge of the field, some more smoky structure emerged. A striking yellow-orange star popped out along the southeast edge of the central rim.

To allow better control over the shading, I prepared this sketch in a large, 6 inch (15 cm) circle. I used an artist's chamois loaded with graphite to softly rough in the broad swaths of nebulosity. I then followed up with a graphite-loaded blending stump to build up the details and variations in luminosity.

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