Flaming star

Flaming star nebula

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A very beautiful nebula that was previously unknown to me. It consists mostly of hydrogen gas which glows with a dark red color. There are also areas with carbon-rich dust. These glow with reflected light and appear as gray-blue areas in the center of the image near the bright star. The distance to the nebula is about 1500 light years and it measures about 5 light years across. It is located in the constellation Auriga. The bright star in the middle is called AE Aurigae and is a so-called Orion variable, which means that it is a young star that is not completely stable yet and it has irregular eruptions when the brightness can increase significantly, in this case the brightness varies about 1 magnitude. It is also believed that the star was previously part of a binary star located in the Orion nebula, and this binary collided with another binary and this caused this star to be ejected so that it later got its current position.

The image consists of data from three nights of photography. A total of about 7.5 hours of exposure time, of which about 6 hours is taken with a dual band filter (Optolong L-enhance) that highlights the red hydrogen gas, and the rest without filters to also get the bluish dust. The processing in Pixinsight was difficult, but I had a good result with the Generalized Hyperbolic Stretch script.

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