Flame Nebula NGC 2024 (Copy)


The Flame Nebula What lights up the Flame Nebula? Fifteen hundred light years away towards the constellation of Orion lies a nebula which, from its glow and dark dust lanes, appears 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 which is just to the right of the nebula(a star spike is just visible in the lower right of the picture), shines energetic light into the Flame that knocks electrons away from the great clouds of Hydrogen and Sulfur gas that reside. Much of the glow results when the electrons and ionized hydrogen recombine. The false-color picture of the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) is a composite of both Hydrogen and Sulfur emission, where the red color is from Hydrogen and the green from Sulfur emission. They mix to form the yellow and orange colors but individual red and green colors can also be seen. The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, a star-forming region that includes the famous Horsehead and the Great Orion Nebulas.


Optics: Planewave 20″ CDK20
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MEII
Camera: FLI PL 16803
Filters: Astrodon 3nm Ha, Oiii, Siii
Dates/Times: April 2020
Location: Adler Earth & Sky Observatory, Jackson Hole WY
Exposure Details: Ha 14×20 min, Sii 9 x 20 min, 23 images over 7 hr, 40min
Acquisition: MaxIm DL SkyX, SBIG STi, Astrodon MOAG
Processing:  MaxIm DL, Photoshop CC2020