The Fox-fur nebula and S Monocerotis
AAO image reference AAT 14b.     « Previous || Next »

S Monocerotis, Fox-fur nebula, Christmas tree cluster, fox-fur.jpg
Top left is NE. Image width is about 24 arc min
Image and text © 2001-2010, 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. The dust is mixed with gas and this affects the appearance of the emission nebulae, giving some of the faintest a curious 'fox fur' texture in this enhanced photograph. About 250 stars have been recognised as members of NGC 2264 which is at a distance of about 2700 light years.

Related Images
AAT 13.   The Cone nebula in the NGC 2264 cluster
AAT 14.    NGC 2264 and S Monocerotis
AAT 14a.  NGC 2264 and S Monocerotis, wide field
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.

galaxies | emission nebulae | reflection nebulae | dark nebulae | planetary nebulae | star clusters | stars | supernovae
50 Favorites | Messier objects | Repro conditions | Images site map | AAO images page

Updated by David Malin, 2010, August 1