Monkey Head Nebula

March 02, 2012

MonkeyHead6 (2)

Photographer: Greg Parker
Summary Author: Greg Parker

Featured above is the richly colored and appropriately named Monkey Head Nebula (NGC 2174), which borders the constellations of Orion and Gemini. Being red indicates that this nebulosity is emission based (ionized hydrogen or HII region). Different colored patches of reflection nebulosity can be detected as well. NGC 2174 is approximately 6,000 light years away. Note that north is actually “down” in this image making the monkey's head more obvious – the monkey’s face is looking in profile toward the left.

Photo details: Image taken at the New Forest Observatory using the Hyperstar III on a Celestron Nexstar GPS C11 reflector telescope. This image comprises three hours total exposure time using five-minute sub-exposures at an astonishingly "quick" f/2.