Heart of the Rosette Nebula
Ssc2007 08a

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Z. Balog (Univ. of Arizona/Univ. of Szeged)

Observation • April 18th, 2007 • ssc2007-08a


This infrared image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope shows the Rosette nebula, a pretty star-forming region more than 5,000 light-years away in the constellation Monoceros. In optical light, the nebula looks like a rosebud, or the "rosette" adornments that date back to antiquity.

But lurking inside this delicate cosmic rosebud are super hot stars, called O-stars, whose radiation and winds have collectively excavated layers of dust (green) and gas away, revealing the cavity of cooler dust (red). Some of the Rosette's O-stars can be seen in the bubble-like, red cavity; however the largest two blue stars in this picture are in the foreground, and not in the nebula itself.

This image shows infrared light captured by Spitzer's infrared array camera. Light with wavelengths of 24 microns is red; light of 8 microns is green; and light of 4.5 microns is blue.

About the Object

Rosette NebulaNGC 2244
Star > Spectral Type > O
Nebula > Type > Star Formation
Nebula > Appearance > Emission > H II Region
Nebula > Appearance > Dark
5,200 Light Years

Color Mapping

Band Wavelength Telescope
Infrared 4.5 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 8.0 µm Spitzer IRAC
Infrared 24.0 µm Spitzer MIPS


Position (J2000)
RA =6h 32m 16.9s
Dec = 4° 55' 25.1"
Field of View
33.9 x 29.3 arcminutes
North is 85.7° right of vertical