First Dark Sky

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I enjoyed an extraordinarily clear night in my observatory on Jan 4, 2019, with excellent transparency and good seeing (and darn cold too!). The modest constellation of Monoceros houses two of my favorite star forming regions, the Rosette Nebula and NGC 2264, also commonly called the Christmas Tree and Cone Nebula. The latter, about 2,600 LY from us offers an array of brilliant colors, due both to emission and reflection components and some brilliant young stars set within it. I have never actually detected any nebulosity through a telescope in this object, unlike the nearby Rosette, but photographically it is a stunner.

This image is a multi-stack mosaic of several frames taken with a 12.5-inch Plane Wave telescope, and a Hutech modified Canon 6D Mark II camera and an IDAS LPS-V4 filter. Cumulative exposure was 30 minutes at ISO 6,400.

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