|Object||The Christmas Tree Cluster|
NGC 2264 is a large, bright cluster with an associated diffuse nebula. It was discovered by astronomer William Herschel. The cluster is visible to the unaided eye as a fuzzy patch. Binoculars reveal 20 of its brightest members with many fainter ones in the background. This grouping of stars is arranged in a triangular shape reminiscent of a Christmas tree for which this cluster is popularly named. A 6th magnitude star punctuates the top of the ‘tree’. NGC 2264 is embedded in nebulosity, which may be detected with a large telescope under dark skies. To the south of the Christmas Tree cluster lies the Cone Nebula, a remarkable object in long exposure photographs but difficult to detect visually. The Cone Nebula and the Christmas Tree Cluster are both part of a larger star-forming region.
|Scope||Zenithstar 80 ED|
|Exposure Info||5 hours total exposure time (20x15min). This image could benifit from twice this exposure time, so on the next clear night, I will gather more data|
|Date||January 21, 2007|
|Copyright||Photo copyright Thomas Kerns, Beluga Lake Observatory|