NGC2264 Cone Nebula

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2014/02/24 - I needed to test the setup again after some updates of CCDAutoPilot and FocusMax. Everything worked great. Too bad weather is still horrible around here. I really need some clear skies to acquire some good data. For this reason I only shot Hydrogen-alpha. I'm not much of a black & white guy, but I didn't have a choice. FWHM was between 2.39" and 2.77".

The Cone Nebula is an H II region in the constellation of Monoceros. It was discovered by William Herschel on December 26, 1785, at which time he designated it H V.27. The nebula is located about 830 parsecs or 2,700 light-years away from Earth. The Cone Nebula forms part of the nebulosity surrounding the Christmas Tree Cluster. The designation of NGC 2264 in the New General Catalogue refers to both objects and not the nebula alone.

The diffuse Cone Nebula, so named because of its apparent shape, lies in the southern part of NGC 2264, the northern part being the magnitude-3.9 Christmas Tree Cluster. It is in the northern part of Monoceros, just north of the midpoint of a line from Procyon to Betelgeuse.

The cone's shape comes from a dark absorption nebula consisting of cold molecular hydrogen and dust in front of a faint emission nebula containing hydrogen ionized by S Monocerotis, the brightest star of NGC 2264. The faint nebula is approximately seven light-years long (with an apparent length of 10 arcminutes), and is 2,700 light-years away from Earth.

Object information
Name : NGC2264 Cone Nebula
Type : Nebula
Constellation : Monoceros
Distance : 2.700 light-year
Apparent dimensions : 10' x 10'

Image information
Image date : 2014/02/24, 2014/02/22
Right ascension : 6:41:13.236
Declination : 9°26' 32.62"
Focal length : 1382.44 mm
Focal ratio : f/5.44
Image resolution : 0.806 arcsec/pixel
Field of view : 42' 32.5" x 30' 52.3"
Sky quality : 19.50 mag/arcsecond2
Sensor temperature : -30°C
Light frames : 3 hours and 45 minutes total exposure time
12x 600 sec. hydrogen-α unbinned
7x 900 sec. hydrogen-α unbinned
Image acquisition with CCDAutoPilot and Maxim DL
Auto-guiding with Maxim DL
Auto-focusing with FocusMax
Bias frames : 100x unbinned
Dark frames : None
Flat frames : None
Processing : PixInsight for calibration, alignment and integration.
Adobe Photoshop CS6 for final touch.

Equipment information
Telescope : Robtics 10" 2000mm f/8 Ritchey Chretien
Corrector : Astro-Physics CCDT67 Focal Reducer
Focuser : Moonlite CS Ritchey Chretien focuser with high resolution stepper motor
Mount : ASA DDM60 Pro direct drive german equatorial mount controlled with AutoSlew
Camera : QSI 683wsg-8 cooled CCD camera with Kodak KAF-8300 sensor and Off Axis Guide (OAG) port
Guidecamera : Starlight Xpress Lodestar autoguider
Filters : Astrodon Tru-Balance E-Series LRGB & Astrodon 3nm H-α, 3nm O-III, 3nm S-II and 3nm N-II
Observatory site : Etten-Leur, The Netherlands