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Cone Nebula

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.

Credit: David M. Jurasevich