Christmas Tree Complex

Designation: NGC 2264
Hemisphere: Northern
Constellation: Monoceros
Distance: 2,500 light years
Object type: Open cluster / Emission Nebula


The designation NGC 2264 refers to several objects: the Cone Nebula and the Christmas Tree Cluster, and unofficially to the Snowflake Cluster and the Fox Fur Nebula. All together these objects form a festive deep-sky object Christmas tree-shaped, which is sometimes referred to as the Christmas Tree Complex.

This H II complex is a stunning emission nebula located approx. 2,500 light years from Earth, in the constellation of Monoceros, the Unicorn. Here young stars are obscured by heavy layers of dust clouds that, along with hydrogen and helium, are producing luminous new stars.


Mount: Sky-watcher HEQ5-Pro
Main Telescope: William Optics ZS73EDii
Main camera: ZWO ASI294MC-Pro
Main camera filter: Optolong L-eXtreme
Guidescope: Svbony SV165 30/120
Guide camera: ZWO ASI174MM
Guide camera filter: Astronomik UV/IR cut

Acquisition details

Total integration time: 4 hours 40 minutes
Acquisition software: ZWO AsiAir
Processing software: PixInsight
Location: Luxembourg

Full size image

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