APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

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APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by APOD Robot » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:09 am

Image AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula

Explanation: Is star AE Aurigae on fire? No. Even though AE Aurigae is named the flaming star, the surrounding nebula IC 405 is named the Flaming Star Nebula, and the region appears to have the color of fire, 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 such as stars. 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 toward the right near the nebula's center, is so hot it is blue, emitting light so energetic it knocks electrons away from surrounding gas. When a proton recaptures an electron, light is emitted, as seen in the surrounding emission nebula. Pictured above, 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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Ann
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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by Ann » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:21 am

APOD Robot wrote
The bright star AE Aurigae, visible toward the right near the nebula's center
As a matter of fact, AE Aurigae is barely visible in today's APOD, although the image is certainly a fine portrait of the nebula that is being ionized by the hot star.

Therefore I'm posting the image at left, where the star is eminently visible, and you can also see the blue tendrils of dust that are differently distributed than the red Ha emission.

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by geckzilla » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:57 pm

Barely visible? It's the brightest star in the picture, isn't it?
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by tomatoherd » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:30 pm

not sure which is actual, but today's image and the image in the AE Aurigae link in the middle of the text are mirror images of each other, not just rotated. I'll look closer at Ann's and see which it agrees with....

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by Boomer12k » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:22 pm

Interesting, and very nicely done....

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by Ann » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:08 pm

tomatoherd wrote:not sure which is actual, but today's image and the image in the AE Aurigae link in the middle of the text are mirror images of each other, not just rotated. I'll look closer at Ann's and see which it agrees with....
Image
I think the image on the left shows the orientation of the nebula when seen from the northern hemisphere, when north is up and east is to the left.

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by Visual_Astronomer » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:16 pm

Visually it's not much to look at, even through a large telescope.

I find the nearby IC410 easier to distinguish, but it is in part because AE is so bright and close to IC405 that it washes it out. Same problem with The Flame nebula and Alnitak in Orion.

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by starsurfer » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:12 pm

Ann wrote:
APOD Robot wrote
The bright star AE Aurigae, visible toward the right near the nebula's center
As a matter of fact, AE Aurigae is barely visible in today's APOD, although the image is certainly a fine portrait of the nebula that is being ionized by the hot star.

Therefore I'm posting the image at left, where the star is eminently visible, and you can also see the blue tendrils of dust that are differently distributed than the red Ha emission.

Ann
Today's APOD is a strange narrowband image. A LRGB image shows both AE Aurigae and its associated reflection nebula much more clearly. Interesting that the caption doesn't mention anything about AE Aurigae being a runaway star.

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by MarkBour » Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:45 pm

Thanks for the clarifying image, Ann. But I also do like the coloring of today's APOD rendering. It looks very much like the leaves I was burning in my backyard over the weekend, with tendrils of flame, leaves, and pockets of smoke. Very apropos for the season.
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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by BillBixby » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:36 pm

AE Aurigae. That left me wondering if it was named for somebody. (IE WC Fields). The two-letter name implies variability, and indeed the star does vary between magnitudes 5.4 and 6.1.

http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/aeaur.html

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by Ann » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:49 pm

BillBixby wrote:AE Aurigae. That left me wondering if it was named for somebody. (IE WC Fields). The two-letter name implies variability, and indeed the star does vary between magnitudes 5.4 and 6.1.

http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/aeaur.html
No, that is the normal way of naming variable stars. AE Aurigae is in the constellation Auriga, hence the name Aurigae, and the two-letter designation (AE) means that it is variable, but that it was not the first star inside that constellation to get a "variable star" designation. The "first" variable star in a constellation typically gets the letter "R", as in R Leporis.

I think starsurfer can fill in a lot of details here! :D

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Nov 11, 2015 7:31 pm

Ann wrote:
BillBixby wrote:AE Aurigae. That left me wondering if it was named for somebody. (IE WC Fields). The two-letter name implies variability, and indeed the star does vary between magnitudes 5.4 and 6.1.

http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/aeaur.html
No, that is the normal way of naming variable stars. AE Aurigae is in the constellation Auriga, hence the name Aurigae, and the two-letter designation (AE) means that it is variable, but that it was not the first star inside that constellation to get a "variable star" designation. The "first" variable star in a constellation typically gets the letter "R", as in R Leporis.

I think starsurfer can fill in a lot of details here! :D
Or Wikipedia.

And are you sure this star wasn't named after Alexander Edward Aurigae?
Chris

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by starsurfer » Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:21 pm

Chris Peterson wrote:
Ann wrote:
BillBixby wrote:AE Aurigae. That left me wondering if it was named for somebody. (IE WC Fields). The two-letter name implies variability, and indeed the star does vary between magnitudes 5.4 and 6.1.

http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/aeaur.html
No, that is the normal way of naming variable stars. AE Aurigae is in the constellation Auriga, hence the name Aurigae, and the two-letter designation (AE) means that it is variable, but that it was not the first star inside that constellation to get a "variable star" designation. The "first" variable star in a constellation typically gets the letter "R", as in R Leporis.

I think starsurfer can fill in a lot of details here! :D
Or Wikipedia.

And are you sure this star wasn't named after Alexander Edward Aurigae?
What he said. :D :lol2:

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Re: APOD: AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula (2015 Nov 10)

Post by starsurfer » Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:21 pm

Ann wrote:
BillBixby wrote:AE Aurigae. That left me wondering if it was named for somebody. (IE WC Fields). The two-letter name implies variability, and indeed the star does vary between magnitudes 5.4 and 6.1.

http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/aeaur.html
I think starsurfer can fill in a lot of details here! :D

Ann
Stars aren't really my forte, deep sky objects are more my area of expertise.