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The Final Frontier!
The Rosette Nebula. At the edge of a large molecular cloud in Monoceros, some 5,000 light years away, the petals of this rose are actually a stellar nursery whose lovely, symmetric shape is sculpted by the winds and radiation from its central cluster of hot young stars. The stars in the energetic cluster, cataloged as NGC 2244, are only a few million years old, while the central cavity in the Rosette Nebula is about 50 light-years in diameter.
Natural art at its most beatiful
An uncommon view of the Rosette Nebula, revealing the rose's Valentine's Day-approved long stem. Located within the constellation Monoceros, the Rosette (NGC 2237) is about 5,000 light years away from Earth. At the center of the rose blossom is an energetic star cluster designated NGC 2244.
Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237). (Image: Adam Block & Tim Puckett) The red color is hydrogen gas energized by a hot star - it's an emission nebula. The “stem” is formed by a trail of the same glowing hydrogen gas. The nebula is 5000 light years away in the constellation Monoceros. ©Mona Evans, “Mother's Day – an Astronomy Bouquet” http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art39554.asp