Creatures of the Rosette (part of NGC 2237)

The chaotic nebula structures within this image are pushing our imagination to recognize creatures strolling across this image, strange insects, dancing children, a dragon...
Hieronymus Bosch a painter from the late middle ages expressed inexplicable surrealistic power in his nightmarish images. Yet he was, as stated, an active member of a religious order, and his paintings are religious paintings. Could he have imagined that we reveal creatures when photographing our night sky?

clic for 36% size 1381 x 926 (398 kB)

Clic here for 60% size 2302x1543 (854 kB)


About this Image

The Rosetta Nebula is a vast cloud of dust and gas, extending over an area of more than 1 degree across, or about 5 times the area covered by the full moon. It's parts have been assigned different NGC numbers: 2237, 2238, 2239, and 2246. Within the nebula, open star cluster NGC 2244 is situated, consisted of the young stars which recently formed from the nebula's material, and the brightest of which make the nebula shine by exciting its atoms to emit radiation. Star formation is still in progress in this huge cloud of interstellar matter, especially in the dark knots where dust and gas is accreting;

The distance to this obect is approx. 5000 light years, the object spans 100 light years.
Find a view of the Rosette Nebula taken at f/3 here.

North is down.


Technical Details


16" cassegrain in secondary focus at f/10

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -30C, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik H-alpha + RGB
Date Dec 26, 2006 - Jan 08, 2007.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 5 sky, temperature 0 C, seeing 1.8 - 2.2"
Exposure Ha:R:G:B = 360:120:100:120 minutes (RGB 20 minute, H-alpha 60 minute sub-exposures), all 1x1.
Processing Image aquisition in Maxim DL 4.65, image preprocessing in CCDStack; Fitsliberator; Ha-RGB combine, curves, final tweaking, color balancing in Photoshop;