NGC 2244: A Star Cluster in the Rosette Nebula
In the heart of the Rosette
Nebula lies a bright open cluster of stars that lights up the
nebula. The stars of NGC 2244 formed from the surrounding gas
only four million years ago and emit light and wind that define
the nebula's appearance today. High energy light from the bright
young stars of NGC 2244 ionizes the surrounding hydrogen gas
clouds to create the red emission nebula appearance. The hot wind
of particles that streams away from the cluster stars contributes
to an already complex menagerie of gas and dust filaments while
slowly evacuating the cluster center.
NGC 2244 measures about 50 light-years across, lies about 4500 light-years away, and is visible with binoculars towards the constellation of Monoceros.
Credit & Copyright: J. C. Cuillandre & G. Fahlman (CFHT Staff), CFHT