Beluga Lake Observatory, Homer Alaska
Home Nebulas Galaxies Star Clusters Solar System Stars, Star Trails & Meteors

Prints For Sale Terrestrial Photography Contact Us

Star Clusters
The Christmas Tree Cluster

 The Christmas Tree Cluster by Thomas Kerns of Beluga Lake Observaory

Object: The Christmas Tree Cluster
Description NGC 2264 is a large, bright cluster with an associated diffuse nebula. It was discovered by astronomer William Herschel. The cluster is visible to the unaided eye as a fuzzy patch. Binoculars reveal 20 of its brightest members with many fainter ones in the background. This grouping of stars is arranged in a triangular shape reminiscent of a Christmas tree for which this cluster is popularly named. A 6th magnitude star punctuates the top of the 'tree'. NGC 2264 is embedded in nebulosity, which may be detected with a large telescope under dark skies. To the south of the Christmas Tree cluster lies the Cone Nebula, a remarkable object in long exposure photographs but difficult to detect visually. The Cone Nebula and the Christmas Tree Cluster are both part of a larger star-forming region.
Scope Zenithstar 80 ED
Camera ST2000XCM
Filters Baader IR
Mount Losmandy G11
Guiding Self Guided
5 hours total exposure time (20x15min)
This image could benifit from twice this exposure time, so on the next clear night, I will gather more data



All photos on this site are the property of Thomas Kerns and may not be copied or reproduced without permission.