Flaming Star Nebula (HaRGB)

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Back in 2019, I did a one-shot color version of the Flaming Star. It, like most of my early efforts was not great but at the time, was thrilled to get it. This time, my teammates at SRO and I decided to do a closeup on the nebula and it was worth going back for!

The Flaming Star is a nebula in Auriga near the Tadpoles, M36 and M38. It’s an emission nebula though unlike the Tadpoles it doesn’t any appreciable OIII signal and the SII is also fairly weak. I ended up using the H-alpha, and RGB filters for this to try to get the detail from the H-alpha and the reflection nebula signal in the broadband filters. This is a total of just under 26 hours and 14 of those hours were devoted to the H-alpha.

The nebula is about 1,500 light years away and what we can see in this image has an apparent size a bit bigger than the full moon but the nebula extends well off the right side of the frame.

The brightest star is AE Aurigae is a 6th magnitude star and is the source of the light from the reflection nebulosity. According to astronomers it was not born in the Flaming Star Nebula but has wandered in and will eventually move out of the nebula.

My processing for this tuned out to be a little more complex than most of my recent images. If those sort of details interest you see the astrobin.

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