Photo of the Week for February 22, 2019
As a constellation, Monoceros gets lost in the shuffle, surrounded by the bright lights of the winter sky. And yet, it’s home to the Rosette Nebula—one of the season’s most popular astrophotography targets.
But the dim constellation also holds another, less frequently imaged treasure, the Cone Nebula. Catalogued as NGC2264, the tiny dark notch of the Cone is only a small part of a much larger complex of nebulosity, as shown in this fine, deep photo by Wade Clare, of Ashton, Ontario. Within that nebulosity, just above the Cone, is the area’s most appealing visual attraction, a scatter of stars called the Christmas Tree Cluster. It has the same NGC designation as the Cone, making the duo a two-for-one deep-sky delight.
Wade’s Cone Nebula portrait combines 48, 7-minute exposures (at ISO 400) made with a modified Nikon D5300 DSLR camera and Sky-Watcher 80ED refractor telescope, riding on a Celestron Advanced VX equatorial mount.