IC443 and Sh2-249 in Gemini, The Monkey's Head (NGC2174, NGC2175, IC2159) in Orion

IC443 NGC2174 Sh2-249

[from Wikipedia:

IC 443 (bright "jellyfish" shaped nebula near the top) is a Super Nova Remnant (SNR) and has an angular diameter of almost 2 full moons. At the estimated distance of 5,000 ly from Earth, it corresponds to a physical size of roughly 70 light years.

The remnant's age is still uncertain. There is some agreement that the supernova happened between 3,000 and 30,000 years ago. Near the apex of the nebula is a neutron star, relic of a SN explosion. The location in a star forming region and the presence of a neutron star favor a Type II supernova, the ultimate fate of a massive star, as the progenitor explosion.

The remnant is evolving in a rich and complex environment, which strongly affects its morphology. Multi-wavelength observations show the presence of sharp density gradients and different cloud geometries in the surroundings of IC 443. Massive stars are known to be short lived (roughly 30 million years), ending their life when they are still embedded within the progenitor cloud. The more massive stars (O-type) probably clear the circum-stellar environment by powerful stellar winds or photoionizing radiation. Early B-type stars, with a typical mass between 8 and 12 solar masses, are not capable of this, and they likely interact with the primordial molecular cloud when they explode. Thus, it is not surprising that the SNR IC 443, which is thought to be the aftermath of a stellar explosion, evolved in such a complex environment. For instance, an appreciable fraction of supernova remnants lies close to dense molecular clouds and most of them show clear signs of interaction with the adjacent cloud.

Sh2-249 is the fainter cloud of gas in the upper left corner and IC443 is interacting with it as IC443 expands.

The bright nebula in the lower right is called The Monkey's Head Nebula! It is over the boundary into the constellation Orion. Can you see the monkey's head? I see it in profile facing to the right. There seem to be a number of catalog numbers associated with it: IC2159 plus NGC2174 and NGC2175 (which is actually the catalog number for the Open Cluster embedded in the nebula). Monkey's Head seems easier!

Apogee U16M camera w Astrodon Gen II filters
Takahashi FSQ Refractor w Robofocus
21 x 10 min for H-Alpha
Paramount ME guided w ST-402 and eFinder
Image acquisition in CCDSoft5

Conditions were less than ideal and I was battling a lot of thin cloud coming and going over the night. Hence the halos around the bright stars.

Calibration, Alignment and Sigma Reject combine in Maxim
Levels, Curves in PS CS4

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Captured Nov 29th 2010
Flesherton, Ontario