Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) 1.27.16

I took advantage of some breaks in the clouds to do some imaging with the VRC and my DSm camera last night. The sky was a little hazy and bars of cloud moved over the imaged areas from time to time, but, as there was no moon, conditions were actually better than they were the last time I imaged a couple of days ago.

These are images of the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024). The bright star at the top of the image is Alnitak, which sends ultraviolet light into the Flame. This knocks electrons of the masses of hydrogen gas; the glow of the nebula is mostly from the recombining electrons and hydrogen. The nebula is part of the huge Orion Molecular Cloud--a star forming region. Note also the lanes of dark gas and dust in these images. The integrations were all around 20-30 seconds long with dark frame processing enabled.