The Cone Nebula is located on the arm of Orion surrounding the star cluster NGC2264. The Cone is the dark triangular nebula on the left side of the image. The bright star in the center of the field is 15 Monocerotis (or S Monocerotis), a quadruple system consisting of four blue-white stars (classes O7, B7, B8 and A6) which are partly responsible for the brightness of the object. Just under that bright star, the Fox Fur Nebula is also visible.
The stellar cluster associated with the Cone Nebula is NGC2264. Located at the center of the image, this cluster is also called the Christmas Tree because of its triangular shape (in the image, the tip of the tree points to the left and is the star located near the tip of the Cone Nebula). The distance to the Cone nebula is well known thanks to the star cluster, which is about 2600 light years away from us, approximately 1200 light years farther than the Orion Nebula.
The triangular shape of the Cone Nebula is caused by the gas ejected by young stars located near its tip.
The image has been processed by Marco Antonio Yuste Moreno, member of the AAE.
Luminance: 201 frames
Red: 25 frames
Green: 25 frames
Blue: 20 frames
Total exposure: 51 hours 50 min