Вадим Дудченко
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The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shot this image of a large star-forming region known as the Flame Nebula.

This Hubble image shows the Flame Nebula. Image credit: Hubble / NASA / ESA / N. Da Rio, University of Virginia / Gladys Kober, NASA & Catholic University of America.

The Flame Nebula is an emission nebula located about 1,400 light-years away in the constellation of Orion.

Otherwise known as NGC 2024 and Sh2-277, the nebula is approximately 12 light-years wide.

It was discovered by the German-born British astronomer William Herschel on January 1, 1786.

“The Flame Nebula is a portion of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, which includes such famous nebulae as the Horsehead Nebula and the Orion Nebula,” the Hubble astronomers said.

The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and is found near the Horsehead Nebula. Image credit: Hubble / NASA / ESA / N. Da Rio, University of Virginia / ESO / DSS2 / D. De Martin / Gladys Kober, NASA & Catholic University of America.

At the center of the nebula lies a cluster of over 800 stars, the majority of which are very young stellar objects.

“The new Hubble image focuses on the dark, dusty heart of the nebula, where the star cluster resides, mostly hidden from view,” the astronomers said.

“Nearby — but not visible in this image — is the bright star Alnitak, the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion. “

“Radiation from this star ionizes hydrogen gas in the Flame Nebula,” they explained.

“As the gas begins to cool from its higher-energy state to a lower-energy state, it emits energy in the form of light, causing the visible glow behind the swirled wisps of dust.”

“Hubble measured the mass of stars in the cluster as it looked for brown dwarfs, a type of dim object that’s too hot and massive to be classified as a planet but also too small and cool to shine like a star.”

 



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