Enchanted Skies

Star Clusters

NGC 2264 - The Christmas Tree Cluster

The Christmas Tree Cluster Map of region around NGC 2264


Object Information                                            Imaging Details

The Christmas Tree Cluster (NGC 2264) is a delightful asterism in Monoceros. The region contains reflection and emission nebulae making it a colorful imaging target. Interestingly, the cluster rises into the evening sky at about the same time that Christmas trees begin to fill the homes of many people.

The star cluster is readily visible in binoculars and modest telescopes. Larger telescopes are required to see the nebulosity.

This image was taken from my backyard in suburban Las Cruces on Winter Solstice night (2006).

Clicking on the image gives a wider field image of the cluster and surrounding nebulosity.

Orion ED80 (Prime Focus)
Canon 300D (type 1 modified)
Misc. Optics:
Williams Optics 0.8x reducer/field flattener
42 x 2.5 minutes @ ISO 800
ED80 piggybacked atop ATP wedge-mounted Celestron NexStar GPS11. Guiding with GuideDog using ToUCam.
Images aligned and stacked with Nebulosity. Curves/levels adjustments ith Photoshop CS. Noise reduction with Noise Ninja.

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Enchanted Skies - Astrophotography by Rich Richins (all images copyright, Rich Richins)