A large, faint emission nebula and bright galactic association of stars known as The Christmas Tree Cluster form object NGC 2264, which itself contains a unique feature known as the Cone Nebula. The Cone Nebula’s shape comes from a dark absorption nebula consisting of cold molecular hydrogen and dust in front of a faint emission nebula containing hydrogen ionized by nearby star S Monocerotos, the brightest star of NGC 2264. The faint nebula is approximately seven light-years long and is 2,700 light-years away from Earth.
NGC 1977 is located about 35’ north of M42, the Great Nebula in Orion. The beautiful blue reflection nebula portions of NGC 1977 contrast sharply with the reddish HII regions as well as the thick, dark clouds of interstellar dust lying between it and M42.