Portfolio ESO/ESA collaborations Cosmic Collisions Deep Sky Catalogue Publications About me

NGC 2024 the Flame Nebula

This is a colourful image of Alnitak area, in the Orion's Belt. Alnitak, also known as Zeta Orionis (Zeta Ori) is a supergiant star with a brightness 35,000 times greater than the Sun. Its mass is 20 times the solar mass.
Alnitak excites and heats up the gases in the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) causing it to glow showing unique and beautiful colours. The dark central area in the Flame Nebula is caused by a lane of dust in the foreground. The Flame Nebula was discovered by Wilhelm Herschel in 1786.
Also visible at top right IC 432 and IC 431, two nebulas that brightly reflect Alnitak's light.

Full-res file is about 12,5 Megapixels with a resolution of about 1 arcsec per pixel. It shows an area of sky large 1,0 x 0,8 (for comparison, the full-Moon has a diameter of about 0,5).
The image is available for Museum, Planetariums, exhibitions, publishers and authors in very high-resolution. If interested in using the image, please read my policy or e-mail me with your request.

Copyright: Davide De Martin.

This color image is based on data coming from several photographic plates taken between 1987 and 1990 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 and later they were digitized. Credit: Caltech, Palomar Observatory, Digitized Sky Survey.

Use of images | Contact me

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.