Monkey Head Nebula

Designation: NGC 2174
Hemisphere: Northern
Constellation: Orion
Distance: 6,400 light years
Object type: H II emission nebula


Located some 6,400 light years from Earth, NGC 2174 is a majestic star-forming region -an emission nebula mainly composed of ionised hydrogen. The nebula is lit by the newly formed stars that shine bright to heat and thus ionise the hydrogen gas.

That’s not all. These new stars also emit radiation and powerful streams of charged particles known as stellar winds, which blow the gas and dust away and contribute to shape the nebula, forming a number of dusty pillars of gas and dust silhouetted against the glowing hydrogen.

The nebula lies in the constellation Orion, the Hunter, and is colloquially known as Monkey Head Nebula due to its resemblance to an ape’s head.


Mount: Sky-watcher HEQ5-Pro
Main Telescope: William Optics ZS73EDii
Main camera: ZWO ASI183MC-Pro
Main camera filter: Optolong L-eXtreme
Guidescope: Svbony SV165
Guide camera: ZWO ASI174MM
Guide camera filter: Astronomik UV/IR cut

Acquisition details

Total integration time: 3 hours
Acquisition: ZWO AsiAir Plus
Processing: PixInsight
Location: Luxembourg

Where the universe begins…