Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Flaming Star Nebula from CFHT

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#84965 by @ 01.03.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
The Flaming Star Nebula from CFHT

Rippling dust and gas lanes give the Flaming Star Nebula its name.

The red and purple colors of the nebula are present in
different regions and are created by different processes.

The bright star AE Aurigae,
visible toward the image left, is so hot it is blue,
emitting light so energetic it knocks
electrons away from surrounding gas.

When a proton recaptures an electron,
red light is frequently emitted.

The purple region's color is a mix of this
red light and blue light emitted by AE
but reflected to us by surrounding dust.

The two regions are referred to as
emission nebula and
reflection nebula, respectively.

Pictured above,
the Flaming Star Nebula, officially known as
IC 405, lies about 1500
light years distant, spans about 5 light years,
and is visible with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Charioteer

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