Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Flame Nebula and friend


Here is a colorful, even garish, image of the Flame Nebula with the Horsehead Nebula lurking behind. I’ve had fun with this one, because it has led me up a few more steps on the Photoshop learning curve. These nebulae are part of the wintertime Orion constellation scene. If you want to know more about them, you can head for wikipedia or read the summary below the image. As usual, if you click on the image it will explode in your face. I may post a more refined image one of these days, but for the moment the bright colors feel good on a cold wintery day.

Flame Nebula

The Flame Nebula, designated as NGC 2024 and Sh2-277, is an emission nebula in the constellation Orion. It is about 900 to 1,500 light-years away.

The bright star Alnitak (? Ori), the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion, shines energetic ultraviolet light into the Flame and this knocks electrons away from the great clouds of hydrogen gas that reside there. Much of the glow results when the electrons and ionized hydrogen recombine. Additional dark gas and dust lies in front of the bright part of the nebula and this is what causes the dark network that appears in the center of the glowing gas. The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, a star-forming region that includes the famous Horsehead Nebula.

So now you know.

Dave, going a little color-crazy.


4 Responses to “Flame Nebula and friend”
  1. Tom says:

    WOW! Love it! Nice composition. May have to try this one in WC. Keep them coming. BTW snow is forecast here for today!!!!

  2. Larry Ayers says:

    I intermittently watched the genesis of this image during the past couple of weeks, an interesting, incremental, and painstaking process.

    Good job, Dad! Just the thing to keep you out of the snow and ice…

  3. Dave says:

    Thanks for the kind comments. And Tom, did you say snow? Only a photo will make me believe that. And even then I might not if you have Photoshop, although that might be hard to do with snow.

    As for the composition, God had a lot to do with that, since all I can do is point a telescope and crop. But I’ll take credit for it if you insist.

  4. Leslie says:

    Mind boggling! I love the exploding colors…it fit on my IPad screen quite nicely. Garish? Nah…

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