Rosette Nebula in Monoceros

May 09, 2010

Rosette nebula charles L

Photographer: Charles Lillo
Summary Author: Charles Lillo

The image above showing the gorgeous Rosette Nebula was acquired at Big Cypress National Preserve in the Florida Everglades on February 21, 2010. This colorful nebula consists of a large, circular H II area (hydrogen gas and plasma) located near one end of a giant molecular cloud in the Monoceros region of our Milky Way Galaxy. Though invisible to the unaided eye, it’s approximately 5,000 light years distant, the Rosette covers an area of the sky approximately five times the size of the full Moon. Within the nebula is an open cluster of young stars; the brightest of which are responsible for the Rosette’s brilliance, exciting its atoms and causing it to emit radiation.

Photo details: 10 exposures of 10 minutes each; aligned and stacked together. This image was taken at a very dark site, named Area 51 (mile marker 51 marks the exit from the highway).