• Ville Miettinen

Cosmic bloom

This nebula is part of the Monoceros molecular cloud and it is nicknamed as The Rosette Nebula. It is not hard to see why as it resembles a flower. However unlike the flowers in your backyard this one is slightly bigger - around 130 light-years in diameter. Estimated mass of the nebula is about 10 000 solar masses.

The striking shape of this nebula is sculpted by stellar winds from the open cluster (NGC 2244) inside it. This cluster contains some very hot, young stars in its central region. They heat up gas surrounding them up to six million kelvins and as a result this region is emitting intense amounts of radiation causing it to glow - a cosmic rose in full bloom.