Postcard from the Universe – Christmas Tree Cluster

A seasonally appropriate astrophoto, NGC2264, also known as the Christmas Tree Cluster. It does have the outline of a tree decorated with stars in place of ornaments. This was shot on the evening of the 23rd from the driveway.

Keeping the exposures short I concentrated on the stars rather than the nebula that fills the region. I am working on the appearance of my stars, attempting to improve my technique. Not sure if I have succeeded here, they are better. I used some Photoshop tricks to preserve the color of the stars in working on the image. Better, but not quite up the the standard I aspire to.

There seem to be a few deep sky objects that are appropriate for the season. The Rosette Nebula makes a nice wreath, the Christmas Tree, etc. The folks at WISE published a nice infrared image of Barnard 3 that also looks like a wreath. Long winter nights are an excellent time to consider the night sky. Not much else to do, I am on call for the weekend, thus staying home. It is new moon and the recent storms have departed allowing dark skies. May as well take a few more astrophotos.

Mele Kalikimaka!

Christmas Tree Cluster
NGC2264, the Christmas Tree Cluster, a stack of 27 x 1min exposures with the AT6RC and the Canon 20Da