Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Arts and Sciences


Physics and Astronomy

First Advisor

Dr. John Kielkopf

Second Advisor

Dr. Gary Ferland


The Rosette nebula is a large, ring-shaped emission nebula with a distinctive central cavity excavated by its central cluster of OB stars. Toward understanding the three dimensional structure and fundamental physical processes of this object, we have acquired flux-calibrated, 4-degree field, deep exposures of the Rosette region through 3 nm bandwidth H-alpha (656.3 nm) as well as H-beta (486.1nm), [OIII] (500.7 nm) and [SII] (671.6 nm) filters with 4.5 nm bandwidth. The 4 arcsec/pixel images are supplemented with 4 degree field slit spectra and combined with archival data from the Galactic Evolution Explorer satellite (GALEX), Akari, the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX), the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) and the Planck mission, along with published single dish radio data of the hydrogen continuum at 1410, 2700, and 4750 MHz. These disparate sources have been converted to the same flux and spatial scale as our own wide field data to create a multispectral data cube which allows comparative analysis across the electromagnetic spectrum. Using ratios of data cube slices, spatial maps of extinction and ionization have been constructed to explore the spatial variation of these parameters across the nebula. Comparison of emission in different wavelengths across the data cube allows generation of a spectral energy distribution (SED) to probe dust temperature and geometry. A radial profile analysis of emission from the Rosette in each band supports a spherical shell model of three dimensional structure, and visual representations of this model have been generated in both Python and Javascript/GLSL. An investigation of anomalous dust emission in the center of the nebula via supplemental spectroscopy, conducted on the Anglo-Australian Telescope, is also presented.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)