Thursday, June 30, 2022

The Orion complex in pills

With Orion quickly fading in to the west and little time each night to capture this well-known Nebula. The above photograph shows in high-detail the Horsehead and Flame Nebulae within the Orion complex. 

as one of the most famous and recognizable nebulae in the night sky, the Horsehead Nebula is dense cloud that is visible as the dark indentation within deep-red color that originates from ionized hydrogen gas (Hα) predominantly behind the nebula, and caused by the nearby bright star Sigma Orionis (upper center). The lower part of the Horsehead's neck casts a shadow to the left. 

This Nebula emerging from the gaseous complex is an active site of the formation of "low-mass" stars. The wisps surrounding the prominent dark indentation are the Magnetic fields channeling gases leaving the nebula; creating streams shown as foreground streaks against the background glow. The glowing strip of hydrogen gas marks the edge of this enormous cloud and the densities of nearby stars are noticeably different on either side. The Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) shines brightly from the energetic ultraviolet light emitted from the immensely bright star Alnitak, the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion. Dark gases and dust filaments lie in front of the nebula causing the flame like appearance. Two blueish reflection nebulae are located just to the lower left of the Horsehead that preferentially reflect the blue light from the nearby stars. 

 Photo: @_ethereal_astro 


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