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NGC 2244 – The Rosette Nebula

The Rosette Nebula is a stunning astrophotography target for your camera and telescope. The colorful hydrogen gas and embedded open star cluster (NGC 2244) make this winter deep sky target one that is not to be overlooked.  Here are my results using a DSLR camera and an 80mm apochromatic refractor telescope.

NGC 2244 – The Rosette Nebula

The Rosette Nebula

RGB (Full color) photo details

Photographed on: February 3, 2014

Telescope: Explore Scientific ED80 with WO Flat III 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Sky-watcher HEQ-5 Pro
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro II and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Orion Mini 50mm
Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Stock)
ISO: 1600
Total Exposure: 2 Hours, 13 Minutes (38 x 3.5 minute frames)
Processing Software: DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop CC
Support Files: 15 dark frames

Guided with PHD Guiding
Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
Processed in Adobe Photoshop CC

Link to Latest Version Posted on Astrobin

Rosette Nebula Ha

Ha (H-Alpha) Photo details

Photographed on: January 15, 2017

Telescope: Explore Scientific ED102 with WO Flat III 0.8x FR/FF
Mount: Sky-watcher HEQ-5 Pro
Guiding: Meade DSI Pro II and PHD Guiding
Guide Scope: Orion Mini 50mm
Camera: Canon EOS 600D (Modified)
ISO: 1600
Total Exposure: 2 Hours, 20 Minutes (28 x 5-minute frames)
Processing Software: DeepSkyStacker, Photoshop CC
Support Files: 15 dark frames

Guided with PHD Guiding
Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
Processed in Adobe Photoshop CC

The Hydrogen Alpha details of my image were shot using a DSLR ha filter.  The Astronomik 12nm clip-in ha filter covers the sensor of my Canon EOS Rebel T3i to produce grayscale images in the isolated h-alpha wavelength.  This can be very useful when boosting your luminance details of an astro-image.

This technique works especially way on hydrogen-rich emission nebula.  The process of adding a luminance layer in the h-alpha wavelength was also used on this image of the Heart Nebula in Cassiopeia.

Related post: Light pollution filters for astrophotography

About the Rosette Nebula

This beautiful deep-sky object is a large nebula located in the constellation Monoceros.  It is a cosmic cloud of gas and dust that lies approximately 5000 light years away and has a flower-like appearance.  The petals of this rose are actually a stellar nursery where new stars are being born.

The striking shape of this nebula was sculpted by the winds and radiation from the cluster of young stars in the center of the Rosette known as NGC 2244.  This nebula can be viewed using a telescope under dark skies, towards the constellation of Monoceros the Unicorn.

Rosette Nebula Location

Where is the Rosette Nebula?

 

To find the Rosette Nebula, look the left of Orion the hunter.  As you can see in the image above, NGC 2244 resides high in the sky close to the bright star, Betelgeuse.  With so many fascinating deep sky targets in the winter night sky, the Rosette is a worthwhile subject for your camera and telescope.

Astrophotography with an 80mm Telescope

This can be a challenging nebula to photograph because it appears in our winter night sky when the nights are cold and unforgiving.  In Southern Ontario, the months of December through March are the cloudiest of the year, and that is precisely when the Rosette Nebula is at it’s highest in our night sky.

DSLR astrophotography

Above: The telescope and mount used for my color image of the Rosette Nebula

I have a video tutorial on my Youtube channel where I stack and process my image of the Rosette Nebula captured with my Canon Xsi and 80mm Refractor Telescope.  In this video, I use the 3.5 minute light frames that I previously captured, and stack them using Deep Sky Stacker.  I then take the image in Adobe Photoshop for image processing to really bring out the color and detail of this deep-sky wonder.


Long exposures using TEC

In late November of 2017, I had the pleasure of testing the ZWO ASI294MC Pro CMOS camera.  This camera houses a 4/3″ SONY IMX294 CMOS sensor, complete with regulated two stage thermoelectric cooling. Using this camera, I was able to capture 11 x 10-minute image exposures on the Rosette Nebula during a nearly full moon.

A 600-second exposure would be out of the question using a DSLR camera.  The noise would simply take over, and possibly damage the sensor due to overheating. The image below was shot through my Explore Scientific ED102, riding on top of the iOptron CEM60 Equatorial mount.

NGC 2244 in Ha

Related Posts:

Recommended astrophotography telescopes for beginners (apochromatic refractors)

Deep Sky Image Processing Tutorial in Photoshop (Soul Nebula)

View the rest of my Nebula Photography…