APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 07)

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APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 07)

Postby APOD Robot » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:06 am

Image AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula

Explanation: AE Aurigae is called the flaming star. The surrounding nebula IC 405 is named the Flaming Star Nebula and the region seems to harbor smoke, but there is no fire. Fire, typically defined as the rapid molecular acquisition of oxygen, happens only when sufficient oxygen is present and is not important in such high-energy, low-oxygen environments. The material that appears as smoke is mostly interstellar hydrogen, but does contain smoke-like dark filaments of carbon-rich dust grains. The bright star AE Aurigae, visible near the nebula center, is so hot it is blue, emitting light so energetic it knocks electrons away from atoms in the surrounding gas. When an atom recaptures an electron, light is emitted creating the surrounding emission nebula. In this cosmic portrait, the Flaming Star nebula lies about 1,500 light years distant, spans about 5 light years, and is visible with a small telescope toward the constellation of the Charioteer (Auriga).

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ababila

Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 0

Postby ababila » Mon Jan 07, 2013 7:27 am

Hi,
Another beautiful APOD!
I am following APOD for a number of years now, I think it must be at least 6 years - I forget.
Close to 100% of the pictures I find beautifull, fascinating or (just) interesting.
This is a tribute to the work you do and of course the work of all astronomers, amateur or professional.
Keep it up :!:

A question:
Often there is a reference to 'the surrounding emission nebula' and I always accepted this without questioning what was meant.
But in this picture I see a dark blueish haze around AE Aurigae. Is this the emission nebula or is it something else :?:
(I do not mean the clear sky-blue streams here, but maybe you did?)

Would it be an idea to annotate such pictures also, similar to the skymaps that you occasionally post?
Just adding a circle around the area(s) that you discuss could add a lot of information.
With 'mouseover' the annotations would pop up.
Well, it's just an idea :D

Greetings from ababila, the Netherlands.

PhilT

Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 0

Postby PhilT » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:13 pm

Hi,
1500 light years away is a big distance. Does anybody know what our own part of the Milky Way (5 light years across) would look like if photographed from 1500 light years away ?

Is it just boring or are we too surrounded by a massive hydrogen/Oxygen/??? cloud ?
Ciao 4 Now/Phil

SouthEastAsia

Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 0

Postby SouthEastAsia » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:59 pm

Two excellent posts above ^^... cheers! And being a true amateur myself, I especially would 2nd the annotation suggestion made in the first comment! That could provide some deeper insight and more comprehensive understanding to the novice viewer in a pure visual sense. Thanks for this fascinating site! Best regards.

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 0

Postby orin stepanek » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:05 pm

Fabulous picture! 8-) :thumb_up: :yes: The color hues go very well together! :D A keeper for my background collection! :wink:
Orin

Smile today; tomorrow's another day!

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The Flaming Star Nebula

Postby neufer » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:51 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.



<<On June 9, 1980, Richard Pryor set himself on fire after freebasing cocaine while drinking 151-proof rum. He ran down Parthenia St. from his Northridge, California home until subdued by police. He was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for the burns covering more than half of his body. Pryor spent six weeks in recovery at the Grossman Burn Center at Sherman Oaks Hospital.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 0

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Jan 07, 2013 3:34 pm

PhilT wrote:Hi,
1500 light years away is a big distance. Does anybody know what our own part of the Milky Way (5 light years across) would look like if photographed from 1500 light years away ?

Is it just boring or are we too surrounded by a massive hydrogen/Oxygen/??? cloud ?
Ciao 4 Now/Phil

"Boring" is the correct answer. We have no nebulas around us (certainly, the very slightly denser interstellar medium we are currently passing through does not qualify as a "nebula"). Point a telescope at any random part of the sky far from the Milky Way and you'll have a good idea what our region would look like from 1500 ly away. Just a few ordinary stars. (Of course, if you were looking towards us from the right direction, you might look through us at something interesting. For instance, you might see our region of space as some foreground stars in front of the Orion Nebula.)
Chris

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Ann
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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 0

Postby Ann » Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:36 pm

ababila wrote:Hi,
Another beautiful APOD!
I am following APOD for a number of years now, I think it must be at least 6 years - I forget.
Close to 100% of the pictures I find beautifull, fascinating or (just) interesting.
This is a tribute to the work you do and of course the work of all astronomers, amateur or professional.
Keep it up :!:

A question:
Often there is a reference to 'the surrounding emission nebula' and I always accepted this without questioning what was meant.
But in this picture I see a dark blueish haze around AE Aurigae. Is this the emission nebula or is it something else :?:
(I do not mean the clear sky-blue streams here, but maybe you did?)

Greetings from ababila, the Netherlands.


What makes this nebula special is that the star ionizing it, AE Aurigae, was not born inside it. Instead, AE Aurigae is speeding through space and making its way though this cloud by pure chance. As it does so, it "plows" much of the dust in the cloud in front of it like a snowplow. The dust grains are the right size to reflect AE Aurigae's blue color. Take a look at this very large (2.8 MB) true-color image to clearly see the dusty blue reflection nebula which is particularly bright in the direction where it is being compressed by AE Aurigae's motion. AE Aurigae is moving to the right as seen in the picture in the link.

Normally, however, stars as hot as AE Aurigae are not surrounded by a blue reflection nebula. That's because these very hot stars have very strong winds, which simply blow the dust grains away. Why hasn't that happened to the nebula around AE Aurigae? It is precisely because the star is just passing through at a fast clip. It hasn't been in that dust cloud for a very long time, and it hasn't had time to really dissipate the dust.

AE Aurigae isn't just making a blue reflection nebula, it's making a red emission nebula, too. The red glow of the emission nebula doesn't come from dust but from hydrogen gas. For some reason, possibly because it is easier to compress dust grains than hydrogen atoms and ions, the dust is not distributed in the same way as the gas IC 405, the nebula surrounding AE Aurigae.

Ann
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Anthony Barreiro
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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 0

Postby Anthony Barreiro » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:52 pm

Ann wrote:What makes this nebula special is that the star ionizing it, AE Aurigae, was not born inside it. Instead, AE Aurigae is speeding through space and making its way though this cloud by pure chance. As it does so, it "plows" much of the dust in the cloud in front of it like a snowplow. The dust grains are the right size to reflect AE Aurigae's blue color. Take a look at this very large (2.8 MB) true-color image to clearly see the dusty blue reflection nebula which is particularly bright in the direction where it is being compressed by AE Aurigae's motion. AE Aurigae is moving to the right as seen in the picture in the link.

Normally, however, stars as hot as AE Aurigae are not surrounded by a blue reflection nebula. That's because these very hot stars have very strong winds, which simply blow the dust grains away. Why hasn't that happened to the nebula around AE Aurigae? It is precisely because the star is just passing through at a fast clip. It hasn't been in that dust cloud for a very long time, and it hasn't had time to really dissipate the dust.

AE Aurigae isn't just making a blue reflection nebula, it's making a red emission nebula, too. The red glow of the emission nebula doesn't come from dust but from hydrogen gas. For some reason, possibly because it is easier to compress dust grains than hydrogen atoms and ions, the dust is not distributed in the same way as the gas IC 405, the nebula surrounding AE Aurigae.

Ann


Thanks Ann. I immediately thought of you when I saw today's very blue star and lovely blue reflection nebula. Happy new year!
May all beings be happy, peaceful, and free.

Steve Kohl

Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 0

Postby Steve Kohl » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:44 pm

Are the stars in the foreground or the background, behind the nebula? Just curious.

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 0

Postby Chris Peterson » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:50 pm

Steve Kohl wrote:Are the stars in the foreground or the background, behind the nebula? Just curious.

Both.
Chris

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2013 Jan 0

Postby Boomer12k » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:13 pm

Looks like a river and Waterfalls cascading down a mountain in various places. The golden part of the nebula, and the title, made me think it was "The Flame Nebula", rather than "The Flaming Star Nebula". Took me a bit to recognize it as such.
It is awesome how the power of tiny particles of stellar winds reacting with dust and gas can produce such wondrous and beautiful imagery.

Picture of the whole area.
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/0510/fl ... is_big.jpg

Like a giant red curtain. Or a Red Aurora.

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