Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405), California

Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405)
Darwin Plateau, California   –   November 7, 2021
— Ralph Paonessa
QSI 683wsg-8 -25° C   *   Takahashi FSQ-106EDX III refractor   *   f/5

LRGB 17.5 hr total exposure over 4 nights:

L 27 x 10 min = 4.5 hr

R 25 x 10 min = 4.2 hr

G 27 x 10 min = 4.5 hr

B 26 x 10 min = 4.3 hr

Calibrated, stacked, and processed in PixInsight.

The Flaming Star Nebula (cataloged as IC 405 and SH-2-229) is an emission and reflection nebula in the constellation Auriga.

Radiation from the bright blue star at center, AE Aurigae, excites the surrounding hydrogen atoms and causes them to emit red light. Its blue light also reflects off nearby dust, giving the central area a blue-gray color.

AE Aurigae did not form in this nebula. It is a so-called "Runaway Star" believed to have been ejected from a stellar collision in the Trapezium Cluster at the center of the Orion Nebula 2 million years ago. Its trajectory has carried it into this region of gas and dust, but IC 405 will fade after it passes through.

This nebula nebula is part of a much larger area of glowing nebulosity that extends off the image to the right (east). North is down.

Photo ID: Flaming Star Nebula LRGB