WISE Captures the Unicorn's Rose

Wise_wise2010-030_500

WISE_WISE2010-030 August 25th, 2010

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

Unicorns and roses are usually the stuff of fairy tales, but a new cosmic image taken by NASAs Wide-field Infrared Explorer (WISE) shows the Rosette nebula located within the constellation Monoceros, or the Unicorn.

This flower-shaped nebula, also known by the less romantic name NGC 2237, is a huge star-forming cloud of dust and gas in the Milky Way Galaxy. Estimates of the nebulas distance vary from 4,500 to 5,000 light-years away.

At the center of the flower is a cluster of young stars called NGC 2244. The most massive stars produce huge amounts of ultraviolet radiation, and blow strong winds that erode away the nearby gas and dust, creating a large, central hole. The radiation also strips electrons from the surrounding hydrogen gas, ionizing it and creating what astronomers call an HII region.

Although the Rosette nebula is too faint to see with the naked eye, NGC 2244 is beloved by amateur astronomers because it is visible through a small telescope or good pair of binoculars. The English astronomer John Flamsteed discovered the star cluster NGC 2244 with a telescope around 1690, but the nebula itself was not identified until John Herschel (son of William Herschel, discoverer of infrared light) observed it almost 150 years later.

The streak seen at lower left is the trail of a satellite, captured as WISE snapped the multiple frames that make up this view.

This image is a four-color composite created by all four of WISEs infrared detectors. Color is representational: blue and cyan represent infrared light at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns, which is dominated by light from stars. Green and red represent light at 12 and 22 microns, which is mostly light from warm dust.

Image Source: /image/WISE/WISE2010-030

Curator: Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Berkeley, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: Pulic Domain

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Rosette Nebula NGC 2244
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula » Type » Star Formation
Nebula » Appearance » Emission » H II Region

Distance

Universescale1
200 light years
Wise_wise2010-030_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 6h 31m 25.4s
DEC = 4° 58’ 28.8”
Orientation
North is 93.0° CW
Field of View
1.8 x 2.0 degrees
Constellation
Monoceros

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 3.4 µm
Arrow_left_cyan WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 4.6 µm
Arrow_left_green WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 12.0 µm
Arrow_left_red WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 22.0 µm
Spectrum_ir1
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Wise_wise2010-030_1280
×
ID
WISE2010-030
Subject Category
B.4.1.2.   B.4.2.1.1.  
Subject Name
Rosette Nebula, NGC 2244
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Lightyears
200
Redshift
-
Reference Url
/image/WISE/WISE2010-030
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
WISE, WISE, WISE, WISE
Instrument
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR, Mid-IR, Mid-IR
Central Wavelength
3400, 4600, 12000, 22000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
97.8560414, 4.9746608
Reference Dimension
4600.0, 5200.0
Reference Pixel
2301.0, 2601.0
Scale
0.000381923, 0.00038192308
Rotation
-93.01
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
URL
http://wise.astro.ucla.edu
Name
Email
outreach@ssl.berkeley.edu
Telephone
Address
7 Gauss Way
City
Berkeley
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
94720
Country
USA
Rights
Pulic Domain
Publisher
Publisher ID
WISE
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/WISE/WISE2010-030
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2011-08-05
Metadata Version
1.2
×

Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

×
Universescalefull
200 light years