D. Heilman Astrophotography

IC 405 - Flaming Star Nebula

This tumultuous space scape is found approximately 1500 light years in the constellation of Auriga peering directly into dense star field of the galactic disk.  The star at the center is a hot and luminous blue O-type star that is barreling past this nebula, likely a runaway star that originated in Orion 2.5 million years ago.  It irradiates the turbulent gas cloud setting it “ablaze” with energy that generates hydrogen alpha radiation (red).  The light from the star also illuminates a dust cloud associated with the nebula giving a faint blue glow on the surface of the nebula surrounding the star.  In the course of processing images like this, it's often easiest to process the nebula separately from the stars, a process called tone mapping.  In removing the stars, sometimes the image is worthy of it's own version as was the case in the starless version of this.  Click "- Stars" in the upper right to see this version - The Hellfire of Space!


- Stars