A Rose Like No Other: New Photo Shows Stunning Rosette Nebula

Rosette Nebula Night Sky Photo
The Rosette Nebula is about 5,000 light years away at the edge of the molecular cloud Monoceros. Josh Knutson took this image in Rio Rancho, New Mexico on May 27,2012. Knutson and Salvatore Grasso collaborated on the photo’s post-processing. (Image credit: Josh Knutson / www.daemongpf.blogspot.com)

The likeness of a rose appears in this beautiful night sky image of a gaseous star cluster and nebula.

Astrophotographer Josh Knutson captured this photo of the Rosette Nebula from his backyard in Rio Rancho, N.M. on May 27, 2012. 

The Rosette Nebula is so named because its clouds of gas and dusts resemble the petals of a rose. The nebula is about 5,000 light years away at the edge of the molecular cloud Monoceros, or the Unicorn constellation. The nebula is a region of the Milky Way filled with glowing gas and a central cluster of hot, young stars that are only a few million years old.

Knutson used a 200mm Celestron SCT at F/2.0, Hyperstar III, and QHY-8 OSC CCD camera to take this photo. The image is made of four hours of five-minute exposures stacked together. Knutson and Salvatore Grasso collaborated on post-processing.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com.

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for Space.com. She began writing and producing content for Space.com in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.