The Tadpole and the Flaming Star Nebula

In this image taken by +Nicolas Kizilian using a William Optics Zenithstar 66 Telescope and a Moravian G2-8300 camera you can see the Tadpole Nebula (IC 410) and the Flaming Star Nebula (IC 405).

IC 410

The Tadpole Nebula (top part of the image) is an emission nebula, located in the constellation of Auriga (, about 12,000 light-years away from Earth. The nebula surrounds the open star cluster NGC 1893 (

If you look closely you can see two tadpole-shaped structures (hence the name). They are about 10 light-years long and most likely zones of ongoing star formation ( They are formed by stellar winds ( and radiation from the stars of the open cluster NGC 1893, their tails trail away from the center of the cluster.

IC 405 (SH 2-229, Caldwell 31)

The Flaming Star Nebula (bottom part of the image) is an emission nebula and reflection nebula, also located in the constellation of Auriga, about 1,500 light-years away from Earth. The nebula surrounds the blue O-type main sequence dwarf AE Aurigae (

AE Aurigae is a runaway star (, it is moving through space at a very high velocity. While it lights up the IC 405 emission nebula it wasn't born in the nebula and is merely "passing through the neighborhood".

More information here: (French)

The image uses a total exposure time of 12 hours and 30 minutes, it was taken using narrowband filters (, focusing on the emissions of hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur (HOS image).

More on colors in astrophotography:

What is a reflection nebula?

A reflection nebula is a cloud of interstellar dust reflecting light from nearby stars. While those stars emit enough energy to make the dust visible they don't emit enough to ionize the gas which would then result in an emission nebula ( Sometimes you have mixed forms with parts of a nebula being a reflection nebula, others being an emission nebula. More here:

What is an emission nebula?

An emission nebula is a cloud of ionized gas (often by ultraviolet radiation from nearby stars) emitting light of various colors, in case of HII mostly reddish-pink (when viewed in natural colors). More information here:

What is an open cluster?

An open cluster is a group of up to a few thousand stars that have their origin in the same stellar nursery and are of roughly the same age. They are bound together by their gravitational forces. More information here:

Image credit: IC 410 and IC 405 +Nicolas Kizilian Used with permission

If you like this image, you can find Nicolas here on G+ (+Nicolas Kizilian), on Twitter ( and on Facebook ( and see more of his work here on his website:

Thank you for your interest in this Astronomy/Astrophysics collection. Maybe add me on Google+ (+Pierre Markuse) and Twitter ( or have a look at the Space/Space Technology collection here:

#science #astronomy #astrophotograpy #emissionnebula #reflectionnebula #space #photography #ic410 #ic405 #opencluster #flamingstarnebula #ngc1893
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