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Astronomy Picture of the Day

Posted By Editor On March 11, 2011 @ 4:20 pm In Photo Essays | Comments Disabled

IC405FlamingstarDetail geissinger1699 670x446 Astronomy Picture of the Day [1]

 

AE Aurigae and the Flaming Star Nebula
Image Credit & Copyright [2]: Rolf Geissinger [3]

Explanation: AE Aurigae [4] is the bright star below and left of center in this evocative portrait of IC 405 [5], also known as the Flaming Star Nebula. Embedded in the cosmic cloud, the hot, variable O-type star [6] energizes the glow of hydrogen along convoluted filaments of atomic gas, its blue starlight scattered by interstellar [7] dust. But AE Aurigae wasn’t formed in the nebula it illuminates. Retracing the star’s motion through space, astronomers conclude that AE Aurigae was probably born in the Orion Nebula [8]. Close gravitational encounters with other stars ejected it from the region, along with another O star, Mu Columbae [9], over two million years ago. The runaway stars [10] have drifted in opposite directions ever since, separating at about 200 kilometers per second. This sharp, detailed image of IC 405 spans over 5 light-years at the nebula’s estimated distance of 1,500 light-years in the northern constellation Auriga [11], the Charioteer.

 

Weekly APOD Music Video [12]; Can your garage band do better?

 

Visit the NASA/JPL website to view more Astronomy Pictures of the Day [13]

Astronomy Picture of the Day


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/IC405FlamingstarDetail_geissinger1699.jpg

[2] Copyright: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply

[3] Rolf Geissinger: http://www.stern-fan.de/

[4] AE Aurigae: http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/aeaur.html

[5] evocative portrait of IC 405: http://www.stern-fan.de/Seiten/galerie_Bild_IC405-Flamingstar.html

[6] O-type star: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap070726.html

[7] interstellar: http://espg.sr.unh.edu/ism/what1.html

[8] Orion Nebula: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap090222.html

[9] Mu Columbae: http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/mucol.html

[10] The runaway stars: http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/gallery_IC405.html

[11] Auriga: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap100305.html

[12] Weekly APOD Music Video: http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=22884#p144669

[13] Astronomy Pictures of the Day: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/

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