Details of the VISTA Flame Nebula image

Upper left: This VISTA close-up of the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) shows the bright young stars at its core and the smoke-like tendrils of dust and gas in great detail. This extract covers a field about twelve arcminutes across.

Lower left : Close to the Flame Nebula lies a bright reflection nebula called NGC 2023. It is also the site of star formation and one very bright young star has created a cavity in the surrounding cloud. Fierce ultraviolet radiation from the young star is causing the gas to fluoresce and the nearby dust is reflecting the intense bluish starlight. VISTA’s infrared vision reveals its wispy gas clouds in exquisite clarity. The field of view of this extract is about eight arcminutes across.

Upper right : Close to the edge of the VISTA image (not shown on the main image above) lies a strange object known as Herbig-Haro 92 (HH92). This curiosity is part of a string of glowing clumps and filaments created by material blown out in a jet from a very young star. The star itself is buried deep in dust at the lower left of this cutout and is not even visible in this near-infrared VISTA image. This very small extract covers a field about three arcminutes across.

Lower right : The wide field of the VISTA camera includes another famous object — the Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33). In visible light the Horsehead is a dark and dusty silhouette set against a glowing background of glowing gas. In the VISTA infrared view the dust becomes largely transparent and the outline has an evocative wraithlike quality. This extract is about seven arcminutes across.


ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit

About the Image

Release date:11 December 2009, 11:30
Related releases:eso0949
Size:2936 x 2987 px

About the Object

Name:Flame Nebula, NGC 2024
Type:Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Star Formation
Distance:1500 light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.9 MB
Screensize JPEG
232.4 KB