Headlines > News > Picture of the Day - The Flame Nebula in Infrared

Picture of the Day - The Flame Nebula in Infrared

Published by Sigurd on Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:59 pm via: NASA
Share
More share options
Tools
Tags

Fifteen hundred light years away towards the constellation of Orion lies the Flame Nebula which, from its glow and dark dust lanes, appears, on the left, like a billowing fire.

But fire, the rapid acquisition of oxygen, is not what makes this Flame glow. Rather the bright star Alnitak, the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion visible just above the nebula, shines energetic light into the Flame that knocks electrons away from the great clouds of hydrogen gas that reside there.

The Flame Nebula in Infrared. Credit: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA

The Flame Nebula in Infrared. Credit: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA

Much of the glow results when the electrons and ionized hydrogen recombine. The above false-color picture of the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) was taken in infrared light, where a young star cluster becomes visible. The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, a star-forming region that includes the famous Horsehead Nebula, visible above on the far right.

No comments
Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this article!
Leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.
© 2014 The International Space Fellowship, developed by Gabitasoft Interactive. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy | Terms of Use