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Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr110 Photography Projects, Spring 2006

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Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), Ben LoCascio

Flame Nebula

The Flame Nebula lies 15 hundred light years away in the middle of Orion's Belt. The nebula is made up of dust and gas particles illuminated by the bright star Alnitak which is the eastern star in Orion's Belt. The nebula ranges in colors from orange to red, and can usually be seen with a pink glow. The dark sections of the nebula are caused by streams of dust swirling though the nebula due to strong magnetic fields. Bright spots at the bottom of the picture are new stars being formed.

The Flame Nebula gets it name because it appears to be a swirling cloud of fire. However, the glowing from the nebula is not caused from fire, though, but by the ionization of hydrogen clouds that encompass the nebula. Ionization is caused by the bright star Alnitak which lies within the nebula. The glow that we observe is caused by the rejoining of electrons with hydrogen gas.

References:
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap990713.html

http://www.skyimagelab.com/horsehead-crisp.html

Right Ascension (J2000) 05:41:00
Declination (J2000) -1:51:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 10 seconds in C,B,V,R
Date observed

March 13, 2006 (R,V)
March 20, 2006 (C)
April 18, 2006 (B)