NGC 2264 and S Monocerotis
AAO image reference AAT 14.     « Previous || Next »

NGC 2264 and S Monocerotis, Cone nebula, Fox-fur nebula Christmas tree cluster, fox-fur.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 40 arc min
Image and text © 1981-2010, Australian Astronomical Observatory, photograph by David Malin.

The region around the 4.7 magnitude star S Mon is a fascinating mixture of red fluorescent hydrogen and dark, obscuring dust lanes. Some dust patches are close enough to bright stars to reflect light from them; these appear blue for the same reason that the day-time sky is blue - because some of the interstellar particles preferentially scatter blue light. Some of the wispy tendrils of nebulosity are Herbig-Haro objects, jets of matter ejected from newly-formed stars still hidden within the nebula. About 250 stars have been recognised as members of NGC 2264 which is in Monoceros at a distance of about 2700 light years.

Related Images
AAT 13.    The Cone nebula in the NGC 2264 cluster
AAT 14a.  NGC 2264 and S Monocerotis
AAT 14b.  The Fox-fur nebula
UKS 29.   The Cone nebula and Trumpler 5
Constellation of Monoceros (external site)

For details of photographic exposure, search technical table by AAT reference number.

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Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1