NGC 2024, The Flame Nebula

Flame Nebula. Image Credit: Steve Mazlin
NGC 2024, The Flame Nebula: At 1,350 light years away, the Flame Nebula makes up part of the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex and has a magnitude of 2.0. Within the clouds of the Flame Nebula there is a large cluster of a few hundred stars. The stars in the center of this cluster are around 200,000 years old while outer members are up to 1 million years old. Many of these stars are obscured by the vast clouds of dust and gas that make up the nebula, but can be seen in X-ray and infrared light. The Flame Nebula itself has a low surface brightness (despite the 2.0 magnitude) and requires dark skies and moderate aperture. To find the Flame, look to the Easternmost star of Orion’s belt. The nebula is just South of this star and they may even be in the same field of view depending on your instrument and magnification.

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