Reflection Nebula in Monoceros

Uploaded 3/05/02

A combination of both emission and reflection nebulosity, this enigmatic object changes its appearance over the years as the result of an irregular dust torus around the bright illuminating star at the bottom casting moving shadows onto the nebulosity on the upper part of the nebula. While my film shots have always revealed this as a white object, with little or no hue, this color RGB CCD image shows an internal bluish element, surrounded by wisps of red and brownish nebulosity. Note the long dim ray shooting directly down from the illuminating star.

This object shines at a magnitude near 10, and is 2x1 arcmins in size for the brightest parts, however, I am getting over 7 mins including the tails. This image below is for comparison.

Instrument:  12.5" f/5 Home made Newtonian
Platform:  Astrophysics 1200 QMD
CCD Camera:  SBIG ST7E w/Enhanced Cooling
Exposure:  LRGB = 60:20:20:36 (RGB Binned 2x2)
Filters:  RGB Tricolor
Location:  Payson, Arizona
Elevation:  5150 ft.
Sky:  Seeing FMHW = 2.0 arcsec, Transparency 8/10
Outside Temperature:  0 C
CCD Temperature:  -35 C
Processing:  Maxim DL, Photoshop, AIP4WIN, PW Pro.




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