The beautiful petal-like formation of clouds of gas and dust that give the Rosette Nebula its name take center stage in this amazing image captured by an amateur astronomer.
Astrophotographer Steve Coates captured this amazing view of the Rosette Nebula on Dec. 24 from Ocala, Fla. Radiation from hot, young stars within the central cluster form the nebula's rose-like shape.
The Rosette Nebula , also known as Caldwell 49 or NGC 2237, is a nebula located approximately 5,200 light-years away at the edge of the molecular cloud Monoceros. One light-year is the distance light travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers).
Coates created this image using Ha, OIII and SII filters and processed using Hubble palette, assigning SII to RED, OIII to BLUE and Ha to GREEN. An Orion 80mm EON (Focal length 480mm) telescope, QSI 683 wsg-8 camera and Losmandy G-11 with Gemini II German equatorial mount were used to capture the image.
To see more amazing night sky photos submitted by SPACE.com readers, visit our astrophotography archive.
Editor's note: If you have an amazing night sky photo or video you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at firstname.lastname@example.org.