APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec 09)

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APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec 09)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:06 am

Image The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared

Explanation: 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, on the left, 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 visible just to the right of the nebula, shines energetic light into the Flame that knocks electrons away from the great clouds of hydrogen gas that reside there. Much of the glow results when the electrons and ionized hydrogen recombine. The above false-color picture of the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) was taken is a composite of both visible and infrared light, the later energy band being where a young star cluster becomes visible. The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, a star-forming region that includes the famous Horsehead Nebula.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by Ann » Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:47 am

The flame Nebula is interestingly yellow-orange in color. I suppose the coolor might be a mixture of red Ha light and the deeply reddened color of dust-choked baby stars, spread out as a reflection nebula.

The cluster ofyoung stars isn't too obvious to me, but maybe that is just me. Or maybe I just expected the cluster to be tighter and more concentrated.

Ann
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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by starsurfer » Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:22 pm

Ann wrote:The flame Nebula is interestingly yellow-orange in color. I suppose the coolor might be a mixture of red Ha light and the deeply reddened color of dust-choked baby stars, spread out as a reflection nebula.

The cluster ofyoung stars isn't too obvious to me, but maybe that is just me. Or maybe I just expected the cluster to be tighter and more concentrated.

Ann
As well as consisting of ionized gas, there is also dust which forms a rarely seen reflection nebula. One of the few images to show this reflection nebula is this one by Don Goldman.

There are two scientific papers that include images of the embedded cluster:
http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-3881/126/4/1665/
http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/20 ... h4248.html

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Ann
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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by Ann » Tue Dec 09, 2014 4:09 pm

starsurfer wrote:
Ann wrote:The flame Nebula is interestingly yellow-orange in color. I suppose the coolor might be a mixture of red Ha light and the deeply reddened color of dust-choked baby stars, spread out as a reflection nebula.

The cluster ofyoung stars isn't too obvious to me, but maybe that is just me. Or maybe I just expected the cluster to be tighter and more concentrated.

Ann
As well as consisting of ionized gas, there is also dust which forms a rarely seen reflection nebula. One of the few images to show this reflection nebula is this one by Don Goldman.

There are two scientific papers that include images of the embedded cluster:
http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-3881/126/4/1665/
http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/20 ... h4248.html
Thanks, starsurfer, very interesting! And what a great photo by don Goldman! :D

What I was suggesting was that there just might be a yellow reflection nebula around the young dust-reddened cluster in the Flame Nebula, slightly similar to the yellow reflection nebula around Antares.

Ann
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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by Boomer12k » Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:15 pm

WOW....Spectacular....

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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by rwlott » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:38 pm

As someone who has long loved APOD and visits this site daily, but one having no training in astronomy, please help me get my head around the phrase, "Alnitak, the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion." Easternmost? Is that true for both the northern and southern hemispheres? For all seasons? And for all viewing times of the night? My understanding is that Orion rises in the east and sets in the west, thus wouldn't all three stars in the belt be equally easternmost at its rising and westernmost at its setting. I also understand that Orion is "upside down" in the southern hemisphere. To my limited thinking, it would appear that some other descriptor besides "easternmost" and/or "westernmost" be more accurate or appropriate? I apologize in advance for asking what might be a wrongheaded question, but I would like some help in understanding this and will appreciate a clear explanation.

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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by geckzilla » Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:57 pm

rwlott wrote:"Alnitak, the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion." Easternmost? Is that true for both the northern and southern hemispheres? For all seasons? And for all viewing times of the night?
Astronomers have a way of orienting the sky (or, rather, themselves to the sky?) so that there is a defined north and therefore it works from anywhere at anytime if one uses this orientation. This is why it is common in astronomical imagery to see the phrase "North is up" so that it is easier to find one's bearings. The sky itself becomes a map of its own independent from the east and west of the Earth. Note that east is to the "left" and west is to the "right" in astro imagery because we are looking up instead of down. (Wait, is that why east and west seem like they're reversed? Did I get that right?)
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Ann
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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by Ann » Wed Dec 10, 2014 12:10 am

Geck wrote:
The sky itself becomes a map of its own independent from the east and west of the Earth. Note that east is to the "left" and west is to the "right" in astro imagery because we are looking up instead of down.
I think so, too. Of course, I'm not the expert here! :P

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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by rwlott » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:01 am

geckzilla wrote:The sky itself becomes a map of its own independent from the east and west of the Earth. Note that east is to the "left" and west is to the "right" in astro imagery because we are looking up instead of down. (Wait, is that why east and west seem like they're reversed? Did I get that right?)
Thanks, Geck... I think? "North is up,"I get that. But if orient myself so that I'm facing north or looking up, wouldn't east be on the right and west on the left?

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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by geckzilla » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:28 am

rwlott wrote:
geckzilla wrote:The sky itself becomes a map of its own independent from the east and west of the Earth. Note that east is to the "left" and west is to the "right" in astro imagery because we are looking up instead of down. (Wait, is that why east and west seem like they're reversed? Did I get that right?)
Thanks, Geck... I think? "North is up,"I get that. But if orient myself so that I'm facing north or looking up, wouldn't east be on the right and west on the left?
Lay on your back with your head facing north. Your right hand points west while your left hand points east. Now lay on your belly. The opposite becomes true. For the sky, we are laying on our backs.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by rwlott » Wed Dec 10, 2014 1:40 am

Laying on my back, head facing north. Okay, now I've got it. Thanks.

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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by starsurfer » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:09 pm

rwlott wrote:Laying on my back, head facing north. Okay, now I've got it. Thanks.
Preferably with your soulmate! :D

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Re: APOD: The Flame Nebula in Visible and Infrared (2014 Dec

Post by starsurfer » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:10 pm

Ann wrote:
starsurfer wrote:
Ann wrote:The flame Nebula is interestingly yellow-orange in color. I suppose the coolor might be a mixture of red Ha light and the deeply reddened color of dust-choked baby stars, spread out as a reflection nebula.

The cluster ofyoung stars isn't too obvious to me, but maybe that is just me. Or maybe I just expected the cluster to be tighter and more concentrated.

Ann
As well as consisting of ionized gas, there is also dust which forms a rarely seen reflection nebula. One of the few images to show this reflection nebula is this one by Don Goldman.

There are two scientific papers that include images of the embedded cluster:
http://iopscience.iop.org/1538-3881/126/4/1665/
http://www.aanda.org/articles/aa/abs/20 ... h4248.html
Thanks, starsurfer, very interesting! And what a great photo by don Goldman! :D

What I was suggesting was that there just might be a yellow reflection nebula around the young dust-reddened cluster in the Flame Nebula, slightly similar to the yellow reflection nebula around Antares.

Ann
There aren't usually optical reflection nebulae associated with infrared embedded clusters. However some examples of infrared reflection nebulae are known.