Object data: NGC 2264 (Monoceros) is a giant region of ionized gases some 10 degrees to the east of Betelgeuse (Orion). At the southern end is the fantastic Cone Nebula, an apt description for this mass of dark matter protruding into the bright star forming region around its apex. Immediately above, the bright 5th magnitude star, S Mon., forms the apex of the Christmas Tree Cluster which extends northwards outside this frame. A dozen or so stars form the nearly perfect outline of the tree. The Cone Nebula and the Christmas Tree Cluster were discovered by William Herschel in 1783 from his observatory in Bath, England (about 30 miles from my home location in Wiltshire)
Location: Southern France
Conditions: Calm, no dew, transparency=8, seeing=7
Optics: Ritchey-Chretien 12.5" f/9 (from RCOS)
Mount: AP 900 GTO on Portable Pier
Camera: SBIG ST-8E / CFW-8
Guiding: Integral ST-8E autoguider
Exposure: LRGB: Luminance: 8x15 minutes; RGB: 15:15:30 minutes binned 2x2
Processing: Image acquisition and initial processing was done using Maxim DL, subsequent processing was done using RegiStar and Photoshop. The processing method has been recently updated based on Russell Croman's resources page and advice from Adam Block for which I am indebted.
Notes: This is my first CCD attempt at the Cone Nebula and replaces my film image taken as long ago as 1998!