The Rosette Nebula decorates the night sky in this beautiful image.
Astrophotographer Reinhold Wittich took this photo from his backyard observatory in Geisling, Germany using a 12" f/4 Newton telescope. The image took 1080 minutes of total exposure time in February 2011 and was released to SPACE.com April 2013.
Also known as Caldwell 49, the Rosette Nebula is located near one end of the giant Monoceros cloud in the Milky Way. Resembling a rose flower, the nebula is 5,200 light-years away. The bright-red regions in the image show a steller nursery with many hot, young stars. Stellar winds from the nebula’s stars created the central cavity which is about 50 light-years across.