NGC 2261

Alt. Designations: NGC 2261, Hubble's Variable Nebula
Object Type: emission nebula
Constellation: Monoceros
Distance: 2.5 kly
Right Ascension: 06h 39m 09.5s
Declination: +08° 44´ 40"
Visual Magnitude:
Apparent Dimension: 3.0´ X 1.0´
Best Month To View: Dec

With the variable star R Mon (mag 11) at the apex, this curious fan shaped reflection nebula was originally mistaken as being a comet. NGC2261 not only changes its brightness together with the exciting star but also has shown changes in its considerable structural detail over the last century. Hubble's variable nebula is only 3 x 1 arcminutes in size and shines at an estimated distance of just over 2500 light years.