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NGC 2024 (Flame Nebula), Sh2-277


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Sh2-277 (NGC 2024)
Flame Nebula (炎の星雲)
Emission Nebula (散光星雲)
Nb EN


別名 (Other names)

CED 55P, Sharpless 277, Sh 2-277, 八つ裂き星雲

星座 (Constellation)
オリオン座 (Ori) (Orion)

座標 (Coordinates)
(206.91°, -16.83°)

距離 (Distance)
1,400光年 (1,400 light-years)

Sh2-277 (Flame Nebula) is an emission nebula located 1,400 light years from the Earth in the constellation Orion.

NGC 2024 (Flame Nebula), Sh2-277 : Picture

NGC 2024 (Flame Nebula)
Flame Nebula
Inside the Flame Nebula
Image Credit: Optical: DSS; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech;
X-ray: NASA/CXC/PSU/ K.Getman, E.Feigelson, M.Kuhn & the MYStIX team
The Flame Nebula stands out in this optical image of the dusty, crowded star forming regions toward Orion's belt, a mere 1,400 light-years away. X-ray data from the Chandra Observatory and infrared images from the Spitzer Space Telescope can take you inside the glowing gas and obscuring dust clouds though. Swiping your cursor (or clicking the image) will reveal many stars of the recently formed, embedded cluster NGC 2024, ranging in age from 200,000 years to 1.5 million years young. The X-ray/infrared composite image overlay spans about 15 light-years across the Flame's center. The X-ray/infrared data also indicate that the youngest stars are concentrated near the middle of the cluster. That's the opposite of the simplest models of star formation for the stellar nursery. They predict star formation to begin first in the denser center and progressively move outward toward the edges leaving the older stars, not the younger ones, in the center of the Flame Nebula.

Flame Nebula
The Flame Nebula in Infrared
(C) ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA; Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit
What lights up the Flame Nebula? Fifteen hundred light years away towards the constellation of Orion lies a nebula which, from its glow and dark dust lanes, appears, on the left, like a billowing fire. But fire, the rapid acquisition of oxygen, is not what makes this Flame glow. Rather the bright star Alnitak, the easternmost star in the Belt of Orion visible just above the nebula, shines energetic light into the Flame that knocks electrons away from the great clouds of hydrogen gas that reside there. Much of the glow results when the electrons and ionized hydrogen recombine. The above false-color picture of the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) was taken in infrared light, where a young star cluster becomes visible. The Flame Nebula is part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, a star-forming region that includes the famous Horsehead Nebula, visible above on the far right.

Flame Nebula Flame Nebula
Flame Nebula Close-Up
(C) Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona
Flame Nebula Close-Up
(C) Robert Gendler, Jan-Erik Ovaldsen
Flame Nebula Flame Nebula
The Flame Nebula in Infrared
(C) 2MASS Collaboration, U. Mass., IPAC
Flame Nebula
(C) ESO
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NGC 2024 (Flame Nebula), Sh2-277 : Movie

A Tour of Flame Nebula
A new study of NGC 2024 and the Orion Nebula Cluster show stars on the outskirts of these clusters are older than those in the middle.
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