Skies By Africa

Images of the Heavens By Eric Africa

IC 443, NGC 2174 and Sharpless 247

Jellyfish and Monkey Head Nebula
Hubble H-alpha/RGB
IC 443 on the upper left, is popularly known as the Jellyfish Nebula and was shot in an earlier image with Sharpless 249 here. The FOV of my camera/telescope combination also allowed for IC443 to be captured with another popular nebula, NGC 2174, the Monkey Head nebula.

NGC 2174 is an emission in Orion and encloses the open star cluster NGC 2175. It is estimated to be about 6400 light-years away. At that distance, it lies further away from the huge Orion Molecular Cloud and is therefore not associated with the latter.

Both nebulae are popular narrow-band targets, so I present them in both standard RGB (with H-alpha luminance data) and narrowband Hubble-palette colors.

As a little bonus, the little blob above NGC 2174 is its own Sharpless object, SH2-247.

Having the two objects in the same field of view made me consider having a story around a monkey and a jellyfish. I fixated on a variant of Lewis Carrol's "The Walrus and the Carpenter", but for the life of me couldn't dream up my own version. I ended up recruiting my niece for her take on the poem, so with your indulgence I present to you "The Monkey and the Jellyfish", courtesy of Isabella Manikan:

Upon the silver summer shore, the sun danced on the beach
his lazy golden curls a-glow, as far as they could reach
t'was very hot-- a beauteous day for playing, it beseeched.

A galaxy of glitt'ring stars, all strewn around your feet
the briny green of summer air, the package all complete
but then, across the ocean tides, the moonlight you would greet.

The sun and moon upon this beach would bicker left and right
'tis here we meet Sir Jellyfish, all polished and polite
and his clever friend Sir Monkey, his opposite, alright--

An invitation close at hand, a letter from a friend,
from darling dear Old Oyster, from the ocean did he send
to the Jellyfish and Monkey, to stay with at week's end;

Revisiting old memories, from stories long ago
recount them to the little ones, who've always yearned to know;
and dine and feast and drink and toast, to friendships--
(May they overflow.)

The two were strolling side by side, excited for the day.
"But is it early e-ven-ing?" asked Monkey, "Who could say?"
replied the little Jellyfish, looking every-which-way.

"Would you remember where the little oysters here would be?"
the Monkey and the Jellyfish both searched but could not see
where their friends under the ocean would have their jamboree.

"How rude of him," said Monkey, "to invite and not push through,
for here we are, from travels far, with nothing here to do."
The jellyfish just shook his head--if only they both knew!

A few ways down the beach their friends had fallen down the throats
of a certain epicurean and his friend of blubber coats--
The two of them sat happily, spewing after-dinner quotes.

Miles away from Oyster lane, the two of them sat fat,
"And so the oysters deserved it," said Walrus, the old rat.
And the two of them were guiltless, they agreed, and that was that.

Under a rock, Old Oyster popped, his outfit all awry;
spotted his friends, motioned to them, and gave a great big sigh,
"My friends i must apologize," and then began to cry.

He told the story of his sons, how they had gone away
with the Carpenter and Walrus, for forever and a day.
Aghast, they promised verily, that the murderers would pay.

Sir Monkey and Sir Jellyfish, sir knights from olden tales
then charged across the silver beach, across the sand-strewn dales.
Above, the sun and moon both stopped, to see if they'd prevail.

Their appetites for righteousness would keep their hearts aflame--
For if they failed to purge the night, then morning they would shame.
And then they saw the culprits there, gluttons true to their names.

The sacred law they learned years back, taught reciprocity,
"If one did something bad to you, then give it back, you see."
And so the knights charged in, with full belief in their decree.

And they charged out, their bellies full, as full as their belief--
But made sure to save the children, to Old Oyster's big relief.
And had their celebration, and banished away all grief.

"Dear friends, how did you do it?" Old Oyster and sons did ask,
The Monkey winked, the Jelly blinked, "It was no easy task,"
but stopped at that, and that was that, in glory did they bask.

But if you want to know, approach, but please do not be rude,
Sir Monkey and Sir Jellyfish would say, in a royal jester's mood,
"The Walrus and the Carpenter were both their favorite food!"

Ironically, after my niece wrote the above poem I discovered that there is a Japanese fairy tale about
the Jellyfish and the Monkey (please let me know if this link is broken):

The Jellyfish and the Monkey
Constellation: Gemini (IC443) and Orion (NGC 2174/2175)
When Visible: December-May
Distance: 5,000 Light-years (IC443), 6,400 Light-years (NGC 2174/2175)
Date: December 2013
Location: Rancho Hidalgo, Animas, NM
Exposure Details:
H-alpha: 21 x 30 minutes Binned 1x1 (mapped to Green in Hubble Palette)
SII: 22 x 30 minutes Binned 1x1 (mapped to Red in Hubble Palette)
OIII: 22 x 30 minutes Binned 1x1 (mapped to Blue in Hubble Palette)
R: 13 x 10 minutes Binned 1x1
G: 13 x 10 minutes Binned 1x1
B: 13 x 10 minutes Binned 1x1

28 hours total exposure time
Equipment Used: Takahashi FSQ-106N on an Astro-Physics AP1200GTO mount. SBIG STL-11000 camera with 8-position filter wheel and Astrodon filters. Robofocus focuser. Externally guided with an SBIG Remote Guide Head on a Borg 45ED refractor.
Acquisition Software : MaximDL, TheSky6, CCDAutopilot
Processing Software: MaximDL, Photoshop CS, IrFanView