The Flame Nebula region as seen with APEX and the DSS2

The Flame Nebula, captured in radio waves in this image, is the large feature on the left half of the central, yellow rectangle. The smaller feature on the right is the reflection nebula NGC 2023. To the top right of NGC 2023, the iconic Horsehead Nebula seems to emerge heroically from the “flames”. The three objects are part of the Orion’s cloud, a giant gas structure located between 1300 and 1600 light-years away.

The different colours indicate the velocity of the gas. The Flame Nebula and its surroundings are moving away from us, with the red clouds in the background receding faster than the yellow ones in the foreground.

The image in the rectangle is based on observations conducted with the SuperCam instrument on the ESO-operated Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) on Chile’s Chajnantor Plateau. The background image was created from photographs in optical light forming part of the Digitized Sky Survey 2.


ESO/Th. Stanke & ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2. Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin

About the Image

Release date:4 January 2022, 17:00
Related releases:eso2201
Size:3768 x 2596 px

About the Object

Name:Flame Nebula, Horsehead Nebula, NGC 2023
Type:Milky Way : Nebula : Appearance : Emission

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