Object name: FLAME

Designation(s): FLAME,

There is a nebula right next to the eastern star of Orion's belt called "The Flame Nebula, NGC 2024. The star is known as Zeta Orionis or Alnitak. Alnitak means "The Belt". With the nearly full moon out and clear skies a couple nights back I tried an H-alpha shot of it. But Zeta Orionis' brilliant light caused so many internal reflections in the scope the entire right side of the image is a mass of reflections of Zeta making a mess of the photo. I don't know what caused the reflections but there's a bunch of them. What a mess. The only way I could cut them down at all was to position Zeta in the picture (it was really really really bad with Zeta out of the image) and by cutting off the "top" of the nebula. If I moved it down in the image or any place else the reflections were far worse. After two hours wasted trying to find a position that worked, I settled on this one. The flame is very near the Horsehead. Both can be put into one wide angle photo. While the Horsehead and Flame are part of the same complex they are caused to glow by different stars. The Horsehead is caused to glow by distant Sigma Orionis. The flame's energy comes from Zeta. Because Zeta is so close it also adds reflected light. While my photo doesn't see the reflected light, in color photos the Flame is far less red than the Horsehead. This is because it reflects back to us a lot of Zeta's light. For this reason, the flame doesn't respond well to nebula filters. A photo showing both the Horsehead and Flame as well as Sigma (it's the bright blue star "above" the horsehead near the top of the image. With the nearly full moon, I couldn't take any color data. I imagine the internal reflections would have made that a useless attempt in any case.

Reproduced at 1.5" per pixel

14" LX200R @ f/10, Ha=2x30, STL-11000XM, Paramount ME

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