The Rosette Nebula

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1200 x 1208 pixels (292kB)

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Emission nebula

Magnitude: 5.5

Image field of view: 1.5 x 1.5 degrees

Constellation: Monoceros

Distance from Earth: ~3000 light years

Object size: Approximately ~75 x 55 light years

Inset Description:

The small drop-shaped feature in the inset is an Evaporating Gaseous Globule (EGG). EGGs are dense clouds of gas and dust that are collapsing under their own weight. At their cores, new stars are born if sufficient mass accumulates and if the heat of compression raises the core temperature to several million degrees (the temperature required for ignition of the hydrogen fusion process). Eventually, the stars emerge, clearing away the obscuring gas and dust in a process termed photoevaporation.


The EGG in the insert has a width of about 0.5 Light Year (LY), or about 30,000 Astronomical Units (AU). One AU is the distance between the Earth and the Sun (93 million miles). The width of this tiny "drop" of material is approximately 500 times bigger than the orbit of Pluto.


At 75 LY across, the Rosette Nebula is about 150 times larger than the EGG, but this colorful nebula is still tiny compared to the roughly 100,000 LY diameter of our Milky Way Galaxy.


Imaging Equipment:

Exposure Information:

H-Alpha Luminance

15 exposures @ 5 minutes each


3 exposures @ 5 minutes


3 exposures @ 5 minutes


3 exposures @ 5 minutes

Total exposure time:

120 minutes, each of two panes