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The Flaming Star Nebula (IC405) and IC410

Rippling dust and gas lanes give the Flaming Star Nebula its name. The red and blue colors of the nebula are present in different regions and are created by different processes. The bright star AE Aurigae is so hot it is blue, emitting light so energetic it knocks electrons away from surrounding gas. When a proton recaptures an electron, red light is frequently emitted. The blue region's color is a mix of this red light and blue light emitted by AE Aurigae but reflected to us by surrounding dust. The two regions are referred to as emission nebula and reflection nebula, respectively. The Flaming Star Nebula, officially known as IC 405, lies about 1500 light years distant, spans about 5 light years, and is visible with a small telescope toward the constellation of Auriga.
One and a half degree East from the Flaming Star Nebula is located IC 410, a region of faint nebulosity surrounding the open star cluster NGC 1893. The cluster itself is small and located just below center, underneath the central dust region of the nebula. This nebula contains complex wisps of gas and is a beautiful target for astrophotography.
(Text adapted from APOD).

The full-resolution version of this image is about 200 Megapixels and has a resolution of about 1 arc-second per pixel. The area of sky shown here is about 4,0 x 3,9 (for comparison, the full-Moon disc has an average diameter of about 0,5). The color composite has been completed on August 15, 2005.
The full-resolution image
can generally be obtained. Typical applications are reproduction in books, magazines and periodicals, use for public exhibitions in planetariums, museums, talks, etc. If interested, please read my policy or e-mail me with your request.

Copyright: Davide De Martin.

This color composite image is based on data coming from several photographic plates taken between 1988 and 1996 through the Palomar Observatory's 48-inch (1,2-meter) Samuel Oschin Telescope as a part of the second National Geographic Palomar Observatory Sky Survey (POSS II). The photographs were recorded on two type of glass photographic plates - one sensitive to red light and the other to blue - that later were digitized.
Caltech, Palomar Observatory, Digitized Sky Survey.

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All images presented in this website are copyrighted Davide De Martin (2005-2014) otherwise noted. Reproduction or distribution of these images is not permitted without written consent. See also my policy of the use of images for further details or email me. Comments are welcome.
The astronomical images presented in this site were created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator.