Cone & Fox Fur nebulas

The Cone & Fox (revisited)

This is the Christmas Tree Cluster (turn the picture upside down and you might see it!) But the real focus here is the Cone Nebula at the bottom of the image, and the Fox Fur Nebula in the upper-right. Lots of red Hydrogen gas here being ionized by the young stars it formed. Also visible is a blue area of reflected starlight, which has always eluded me until now.

That really bright star near the center is S Monocerotis (the “trunk” of the tree), a multiple-star system that is characterized as an eruptive, irregular variable star, although its brightness doesn’t really change that much.

Like the region surrounding the Horsehead Nebula, we have all three types of nebula represented here: dark, emission, and reflection.15 hours of total exposure time over two nights in January.

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