The Rose of Winter


While I took this shot three weeks ago, I’ve only just got around to processing it. This is a nebula-filled region of the northern winter sky in the constellation of Monoceros, the unicorn.

The highlight is the rose-like Rosette Nebula at bottom, an interstellar flower of glowing hydrogen where new stars are forming. Above it, at centre, is a mass of pink, blue and deep red nebulosity that forms the Monoceros Complex. All lie in our local corner of the Milky Way, in a spiral arm fragment called the Orion Spur, a hotbed of star formation.

This field, shot with a 135mm telephoto lens, sits to the left of Orion and spans about a hand width at arm’s length. It would take a couple of binocular fields to contain it. Next on my astrophoto agenda – shooting some close ups of selected bits of Monoceros, shots that have eluded me till now.

— Alan, February 12, 2012 / © 2012 Alan Dyer

2 Replies to “The Rose of Winter”

  1. Hi — The tech data is always automatically extracted and included at the left of the image. But what the blog software does not pick up is that this was a stack of five 8 minute (482 second) exposures, not a single exposure, to reduce noise. Also not noted is while this was a Canon 5D MkII camera, it was filter-modified to record greater red nebulosity at the H-alpha wavelength of deep red. Stock cameras would not pick up as much faint structure as this shot shows. Dedicated CCD cameras shooting through H-alpha filters pick up even more of the faint stuff. Thanks! But for a one-shot colour camera, the 5D MkII Canon does pretty well for itself.

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