|The Flame Nebula, or NGC 2024 is located at a distance of 900 to 1,500 light years away, it is part of the complex of the Orion molecular cloud, a region of star formation, which includes the famous Nebula Horsehead. In the Flame Nebula found Alnitak or Zeta Orionis (ζ Ori), the brightest star in the top right of the nebula star. Alnitak is the easternmost of the three bright stars of Orion's belt stars. It emits ultraviolet energy that ionize the surrounding hydrogen gas clouds. Under the Flame Nebula, is the great cloud of dark dust of the nebula NGC 2023 in which a star of magnitude 8.5 diffuse a large surface light. These images were taken by VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory of ESO in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. The red color of this nebula is due to the brightness of the ionized hydrogen atoms.|
nota: VISTA is located on a close to the top of the VLT. The main mirror VISTA diameter 4.1 meters. His camera of 3 tons cooled to - 200 ° C is sensitive to infrared radiation. This advantage allows it to observe impossible objects to see in visible light, hidden behind clouds of dust. VISTA devotes much of his time to map in detail the southern sky. It also three-dimensional mapping the structure of our Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds.
Video: Dazzling journey into the Flame Nebula. This trip just a minute, we sent down the center of the Flame Nebula, in dense clouds of gas and dust. This video of the VISTA telescope shows dramatic clouds of gas and dust in the constellation of the Flame. In visible light, the heart of this object is hidden behind a thick cloud of dust, but the picture taken by VISTA in the infrared could penetrate the darkness and reveal the cluster of hot young stars that are hiding. credit: ESO/J. Emerson/VISTA. Acknowledgment: Cambridge Astronomical Survey Unit