IC 405 ( Sh2-229) in Aurigaa

© Velimir Popov & Emil Ivanov 2020
Size: 1800 px
IC 405 (also known as Sh2-229, C 31, or Flaming Star Nebula) is a diffuse emission and reflection nebula in the constellation of Auriga. It is elusive to direct observation, but very evident in long exposure photos. It's located at 500 parsecs (1630 light years) away. In its direction we observe a blue star of fifth magnitude, known as AE Aurigae, a variable and enigmatic star: it would be one of the so-called "fugitive" stars, because they were born in the region of the Orion Nebula about 2.7 million years ago and from there they "ran away", dispersing in the Milky Way; among these there is also the μ Columbae. IC 405 shines with the radiation received from AE Aurigae, which ionizes its gases and gives it a red color; the blue spots are instead due to the reflection of the blue light of the star on the dark dust. Through the data obtained with the Hipparcos satellite it emerged that about 2.6 million years ago this star, μ Columbae and the bright binary ι Orionis were in the same position in space; thus it was assumed that these stars had undergone a four body interaction, in which two binaries belonging to the Orion OB1 association exchanged. The result was that the two most massive stars underwent mutual gravitational influences becoming a new binary system, the current ι Orionis, while the two less massive stars were pushed away at high speed by the intense gravitational energy, leaving the region of their formation and becoming fugitive stars. IC 405 appears to be connected with other nebulosity systems, in particular with IC 410, visible one degree to the southeast. A two panel mosaic showing both IC 405 and IC 410 can be found here.

Image details:


Center of field RA 05:16:52 (h:m:s)
Center of field DE +34:27:56 (deg:m:s)
Size 62.7 x 47.1 (arcmin)
Pixel scale: 2.09 (arcsec/pixel)
Orientation: Up is 347 degrees E of N
Charts and image details obtained from Astrometry.net
Optic(s): ASA 12" Astrograph @ f/6.3 (Newton)
Mount: ASA DDM85 Standard
Camera: SBIG STL 11000 M
Filters: Luminance, Red, Green, Blue, Astronomik filters; Ha, OIII Baader filters
Dates/Times: Nov.2011
Location: IRIDA Observatory, BG, longitude: E 24 44' 18", latitude: N 41 41' 42"
Exp. Details: L:12x10min;R:6x10 min, G:6x10 min, B:6x10 min;Ha:10x15 min;OIII:16x15 min; Bin 1 Total exp.time: 690min (11:30 hrs)
More details: Dark and flat frames reduction
Processing: PixInsight / PS
Copyright: Velimir Popov and Emil Ivanov 2020. All Rights Reserved
e-mail: info@irida-observatory.org
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