Buy the NGC 2261 space photo.
High quality Hubble picture, slide, or Duratrans backlit transparency. NASA photograph H99-36
. Wide variety of sizes.
Click to see selection as Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) - October 20, 1999
Hubble's variable nebula is named (like the Hubble telescope itself)
after the American astronomer Edwin P. Hubble, who carried out some of
the early studies of this object. It is a fan-shaped cloud of gas and
dust which is illuminated by R Monocerotis (R Mon), the bright star at
the bottom end of the nebula.
Dense condensations of dust near the star cast shadows out into the nebula, and as they move the illumination
changes, giving rise to the variations first noted by Hubble. The star
itself, lying about 2,500 light-years from Earth, cannot be seen
directly, but only through light scattered off of dust particles in the
R Mon is believed to have a mass of about 10 times
that of the Sun, and to have an age of only 300,000 years. There is
probably a symmetrical counterpart of the fan-shaped nebula on the
southern side of the star, but it is heavily obscured from view by dust
lying between this lobe and our line of sight.
The Hubble Heritage team made this image from observations of R Mon
acquired by William Sparks (STScI), Sylvia Baggett (STScI) and
October 7, 1999
Image Credit: NASA/The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI).