Russell Croman Astrophotography  



The Flaming Star Nebula

About This Photograph

The bright star in this photograph is known as AE Aurigae. It's not really on fire, but the rippling tendrils of gas and dust surrounding must have given that impression to those first observing it. The nebula is made up mainly of hydrogen, but is also laced with carbon-rich dust grains somewhat similar to smoke particles. The hydrogen glows red by a process of emission, rather similar to the way a fluorescent light bulb glows. The dust grains comprise the bluish areas of the nebula, and are seen by the light of AE Aurigae that they reflect.


Technical Details

Optics:20" f/8 RCOS Ritchey-Chr├ętien Cassegrain w/ RCOS Field Corrector
Camera:SBIG STL-11000M, FLI CFW-7
Mount:Software Bisque Paramount ME
Filters:SBIG Standard LRGB
Dates/Times:28 Nov - 3 Dec 2005
Location:Dimension Point Observatory, Mayhill, New Mexico
Exposure Details:LRGB = 420:240:120:240 minutes
Acquisition:MaxIm DL/CCD 4, TheSky6, CCDAutoPilot2
Processing:CCDStack, Photoshop CS2