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NGC 2237 (4,213 of 18,816)

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Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237)

NGC 2237, Sh 2-275A, Caldwell 49, Rosette Nebula (NGC 2237)

RA: 06h 30m 54.6s
Dec: +05° 02′ 57″

Con: Monoceros
Ch: MSA:227, U2:227, SA:12

Ref: NGC/IC

(reference key)

Type: bright nebula

Mag: B=?, V=?

Size: 90′ x 90′
PA: ?

Image gallery

Photos  (2)

Select a photo and click the button to view

History and Accurate Positions for the NGC/IC Objects (Corwin 2004)

NGC 2237, 2238, and 2246 are all parts of the large annular HII region often called the Rosette. Embedded in the middle of the nebula is a bright cluster of young stars, NGC 2239 = NGC 2244 (which see) discovered by WH, and observed again by JH.

Albert Marth is apparently the first to see any part of the nebulosity (NGC 2238, which see), though Lewis Swift was the first to call attention to its great size. Barnard ran across the nebula independently in 1883 while sweeping for comets, and his observations inspired Swift to finally publish a note about it in 1884. Scanning the area again in 1886, Swift found part of the eastern side of the nebula (NGC 2246, which see), but it was not until Barnard began his photographic work at Lick in the early 1890s that the full extent of the nebula became known.

The position for NGC 2237 given by Swift in his second list of nebulae actually comes from Barnard, though it is about 45 seconds of time west of the center of gravity of the western part of the Rosette to which it refers. Barnard's description is accurate, however, and there is no question as to which part of the nebulosity he saw.

Remarks

Rosette: NGC 2244, NGC 2237, NGC 2238 & NGC 2246.

Historical observations

NGC/IC Dreyer (1888, 1895, 1908)

In the Sidereal Messenger Vol III p 57 Lewis Swift has given a drawing of what he saw with the 16 inch Warner telescope (see also Vol I, p 21 of the History and Work of the Warner Obs.).

With the 6 inch refractor of the Vanderbilyt Univ.Obs. I determined the place of this object from four equatorial pointings ... (see Sidereal Messenger Vol IV p 314 for my observations of it). When favourable placed for observing after the opening of this Obs., I examined the nebula with the 12 inch refractor and was struck with its remarkable appearance. What I had seen previously and what Swift had sketched, was simply a brightish know in a vast nebulous ring that entirely surrounded the cluster. By estimation the average outer diam. of the ring is 40' and the inner diam. 20'. The inside of the ring is apparently free of neb., the stars of the cluster shining on a perfectly dark sky. The outer edge of the ring is somewhat diffused and irregular, some porjctiosn occuring near the f. portion. ...."

[more]

Barnard, E.E. (1889)

Barnard, E. E. (1889) Astron.Nach. 2918.

"The Cluster GC 1420 and the Nebula NGC 2237"

[includes sketch]

"In January 1883 while seeking comets with a fve inch refractor, I found a very large diffused nebula close n.p. the star cluster GC 1420. Subsequently I learned from Prof. Swift that he had originally discovered the nebula many years befroe and that it was not in any catalgoue. It is very singular that this object (NGC 2237) so conspicuous in a five inch telescope, should have been missed by observers previously, unless indeed we consider GC 5361 [NGC 2238] as in part refering to it.

Published comments

Minkowski, R. (1949)

Minkowski, R. (1949) The diffuse nebula in Monoceros. P.A.S.P., 61(361), 151.

Sharpless (1959)

A catalogue of H-II regions. Astrophys.J.Suppl.Ser., 4, 257-279.

Sh 2-275: "Part of I Mon assoc. Contains cluster NGC 2244."

Sulentic & Tifft (1973)

The RNGC (Sulentic and Tifft 1973) notes that this is a cluster associated with nebulosity.

Photo index

Photo Index by Jim Lucyk: Sky&Tel. 1/81 p25, Sky&Tel. 2/85 p181, Sky&Tel. 2/76 p141, Sky&Tel. 3/80 p265, Sky&Tel. 4/73 p208, Sky&Tel. 12/81 p557, Sky&Tel. 3/88 p248-9, Astronomy mag. 4/86 p60, Astronomy mag. 4/82 p16, 17, Vehrenberg's Atlas of Galactic Neb-1 p97, 98, Astronomy mag. 6/75 (back cover), Astronomy mag. 7/76 p78, Deep Sky #6 Sp84 (back cover).

It forms part of the Monoceros OB2 association.

Modern observations

Walter Scott Houston

In 1976 Houston reported observations by FP Lossing and R Meier: "[We] observed this nebula in the 16-inch f/5 reflector at the Ottowa Centre's North Mountain Observatory. The nebula surrounding the coarse cluster appears double, one half being much the brighter. With 50 power, the visually most conspicuous part of the nebula lies just northwest of the cluster, appearing as a faintly luminous cloud which contains notably fewer stars than its surroundings. Just south of the cluster is the second brightest part. With 130x, both areas show clear evidence of mottling. The nebula is much too large to be seen in its entirety even with a giant wide-angle ocular. I doubt that with this aperture anyone would independently recognize the rosette shape. It is much fainter and less defined that the Helix nebula, so it is not surprising that Smyth missed it." Houston writes that his own "attempts in an indifferent Connecticut sky have failed to show much more than the cluster. A 5-inch apogee scope revealed a trace of nebulosity, but 5-inch binoculars at 20x did better. The fact that the nebula is bout 1° across adds to its difficulty."

MacRobert, Alan M

MacRobert writes that "the cluster [NGC 2244] is the heart of the Rosette Nebula, NGC 2237-8, one of the most beautiful objects in the entire sky - on photographs. Visually the 6-inch showed no trace of nebulosity, nor has any other instrument I have tried from my location. The light pollution is to blame, of course. In a dark sky a very small aperture will show it. . ."

Tom Lorenzin

Tom Lorenzin, in the electronic version of "1000+ The Amateur Astronomers' Field Guide to Deep Sky Observing", notes: "Wreaths of nebulosity over 1 degree in diameter enclose OPN CL N2244 (5M; 24' diameter; 80-plus 6M and dimmer members); N-filter enhances the view greatly; wealth of detail includes dark globules; deserving of at least an hour's scrutiny."

Steve Coe

Steve Coe, observing with a 13" f/5.6, notes: "is a part of the Rosette Nebula. It is large enough that it got several numbers in the NGC (2237-8-9 and 2246) because when William Herschel discovered this nebula it would only fit into his scope in smaller pieces. This area of the winter Milky Way is a naked eye bright spot that will start to show the nebula in a pair of binoculars or a large finder. My 10 X 50 binoculars or 11 X 80 finder will show a horseshoe of nebulosity around a scattered star cluster. The 13" at 60X with a 38mm Giant Erfle eyepiece will show several dark lanes in the nebula. The nebulosity is annular and brightest on the SW edge. A UHC filter makes the nebula stand out much better and defines the contrast with the dark lanes."

Sanford (1989) Observing the Constellations

Sanford notes that "the Rosette can be seen as a soft glow surrounding the distinctive parallelogram of the cluster in 20x80 binoculars or a rich-field telescope."

Contemporary observations

Richard Ford

2012 February 18, Sat

Location:Perdeberg.

Instrument:12-Inch Dobsonian Reflector Telescope.

Sky Conditions:The fainter parts of the Milky Way are barely visible.

Transparency Of the Sky:Haziness only visible on the horizon.

Seeing:Atmosphere stable with little interference.

This emission nebula's delicate clouds of gas and dust are well arranged in the shape of a cauliflower.By making use of an Ultra High Contrast Filter I have found that this nebula is broken up into minute pieces of gas and dust.I have found that around the outskirts of the Rosette Nebula the clouds of gas and dust is equally bright all over.

It measures 8.2'*2.7'.

Challenge Rating:Difficult.

Carol Botha

2015 Jan 21, Wed

Object:NGC 2237/2239

Observer: Carol Botha

The Rosetta Nebula in Monoceros

Date& time: 2015.01.21 / 23:15

Location: Betty’s Bay

Instrument: 12 inch Dobsonian F5. Binoculars 10x50. Eyepiece: 25mm plossl (fov 50') Filter: OIII

Sky: Clear. Some light pollution E horison

Seeing: Good

Limiting mag: 5.55 HD59256

Quality: Very windy. Observing with shade netting shelter

Object Description:

Binoculars: A round haze lying over the open cluster NGC 2244 and seems to have a strand of nebulosity extending over a string of stars which ends with a bright star SW. This looks more like the soft silhouette of a girl with a cheeky ponytail.

25mm: Seeing no brighter or darker detail. It is so faint I almost have to imagine that it’s there. OIII filter not improving matters.

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