I am finally starting to see results coming from DSO’s other than The Great Orion Nebula and The Adromeda Galaxy, which is a relief! Ive spent hundreds of what seems like wasted hours attempting to collect data on objects that never panned out. I guess I would have to be a fool to believe those hours were really wasted. From that time Ive gained an appreciation for our universe that I can’t really put into words.
Astrophotography set aside, spend enough time staring into the cosmos and it will change you on a spiritual as well as an intellectual level. In fact I believe a study was performed at one point that proved there is a physical change that takes place within the chemistry of the human brain as he or she basks under a dark sky filled with endless star fields. I’m just speculating, but though I believe this effect may be greater and more mysterious than when any of us have ever realized. It would have to be for the number of people who become completely and totally hooked on astrophotography and star gazing. I believe it unleashes something ancient and primorial within us.
NGC2244, The Rosette Nebula is an extremely large emission type nebula that is situated within the constellation of Monoceros, the Unicorn. From our perspective on earth the Rosette nebula covers 1.5 degrees of night sky. To put the into perspective, a full moon at it’s height is about 30 arc seconds wide, or one half of a degree. So the Rosette Nebula is at least 3x the size of the moon in the night sky. From our perspective anyway!
This gigantic star forming, emission nebula is a considerably close neighbor to our stellar neighborhood at distance of about 5000 light years. Which seems like quite a large distance and obviously is, though in the grand scheme of things 5000 light years is nothing more than a Sunday drive across town to your favorite fishing hole.
The Rosette Nebula is about 30 light years across. It’s grand size and already covered distance from earth make it an ideal wide field astrophotography subject for people like myself and may others who venture out under the stars with photographic gear.
Observers can easily enjoy this deep space object with nothing more than a pair of binoculars, though to really appreciate it’s size and beauty one will need a 80mm to 100mm ED APO refractor, or large aperture, wide field reflecting telescope. Unfortunately only long exposure photography techniques will unleash the true beauty of the Rosette Nebula. An observer will only see a faint fuzzy, grey cloud of dust and gas through his, or her objective.
Anyway I hope you enjoy my image of the Rosette nebula. What you see here is the first bit of data that I have been able to collect on it so far. I plan on spending more time on NGC2244 collecting data in the near future to add to this, so stay posted.
This integration includes 14 images stacked at 500 seconds each. The images were captured through an Explore Scientific ED80CF APO refractor, using a full spectrum modified Canon 70D DSLR.
Jeremy T Hetrick