By Any Other Name…


Behold: the Rosette Nebula, aka Caldwell 49 or NGC 2237 or NGC 2238 or NGC 2239 or NCG 2244 or NGC 2246 depending on what way you look at it. To wit:

The bland New General Catalog designation of NGC 2237 doesn’t appear to diminish the appearance of this flowery emission nebula, at the top of the image, atop a long stem of glowing hydrogen gas. Inside the nebula lies an open cluster of bright young stars designated NGC 2244. These stars formed about four million years ago from the nebular material and their stellar winds are clearing a hole in the nebula’s centre, insulated by a layer of dust and hot gas. Ultraviolet light from the hot cluster stars causes the surrounding nebula to glow. The Rosette Nebula spans about 100 light-years across, lies about 5000 light-years away, and can be seen with a small telescope towards the constellation of the Unicorn (Monoceros).

(Image: Adam Block & Tim Puckett)


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