Rosette Nebula Complex with Open Clusters in Monoceros
The Rosette Nebula Complex
The Rosette Nebula requires a dark sky and a wide-field telescope to observe. This huge
nebula is 2 ½ times the size of the full moon. The Rosette Nebula is about the same
apparent size as the Great Orion Nebula (M42) but is three-times farther away from us. In
actual size, the Rosette Nebula is 115 light years across while the Great Orion Nebula is
40 light years across. At the center of the Rosette Nebula is a very young cluster
(NGC 2244) which is easily visible in binoculars and telescopes. This cluster of stars was
born out of the Rosette Nebula only around a million years ago. The Rosette Nebula itself
is a challenge to see. From Carr’s Mill Park, a darker-sky location than my house, I can just
catch a glimpse of the nebula’s northwest section where it is the brightest. But even that
was fleeting. By adding an Oxygen-3 (OIII) filter the nebula appears but all else dims.
The drawing is really a combination of two drawings. One using the OIII filter to show the
nebula and the other without-the-filter to provide NGC 2244 and the surrounding star field
in their true form.
This drawing covers 3 ½ degrees and includes two addition Open Clusters (NGC 2252
and, in-part, Collinder 97). Both clusters require higher power, than used for this drawing,
to show well. Still I marked their locations on the drawing.