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Monitoring Thin Young Layers in South Polar Residual Cap
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Monitoring Thin Young Layers in South Polar Residual Cap

October 6, 2009
Sparkling at the edge of a giant cloud of gas and dust, the Flame Nebula, also referred to as NGC 2024, is in fact the hideout of a cluster of young, blue, massive stars, whose light sets the gas ablaze. Located 1300 light-years away towards the constellation of Orion, the nebula owes its typical color to the glow of hydrogen atoms, heated by the stars. The latter are obscured by a dark, forked dusty structure in the center of the image and are only revealed by infrared observations.

This image is based on data acquired with the 1.5-meter Danish telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, combining three exposures in the filters B (40 seconds), V (80 seconds) and R (40 seconds).


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