NGC 2264 - The Cone Nebula


The Cone Nebula is found just to the left of Orion in the constellation Monoceros (The Unicorn). This diffuse nebula and open cluster is at a distance of 2400 light years. The red emission nebula is being energized by the new stars being formed within.

The image above was taken with the 12" LX200, AO7, and ST-8E camera at f/6.3 on Feb 5, 2003 from my home in Monmouth Oregon.  It is an RRGB image (as detailed below). Since the reflection nebula is very red, I thought that I could keep the hot blue stars from blooming. Calibration and alignment were done in MaxIm DL. RRGB layering was done with Photoshop.  With an average altitude of 54 degrees, I balanced this to an RGB ratio of 1.12 : 1.00 : 2.10.


Exposure Count Binning
Luminance reuse red    
Red 29 min 29 x 1 min 2x2
Green 23 min 23 x 1 min 2x2
Blue 46 min 46 x 1 min 2x2

Previous version taken Jan 3, 2000:

This image is the median of eight 2 minute exposures taken with the 12" LX200 and 416XT CCD at f3.3 at Fremont Peak, CA.