Flaming Tree Nebula

Flame Nebula, NGC 2024

The Flaming Tree of Orion

Dark lanes against a swirling background give the Flaming Tree its name. In the foreground is the blue-white star Alnitak of Orion's Belt, actually some two hundred light years closer to Earth than the nebula behind it.

At the eastern end of Orion's Belt is a gaseous region filled with nebulae. Most famous of these by far is the Horsehead Nebula, but the nearby Flaming Tree is nearly as recognisable. Illuminated by the star Alnitak, the eastern of the three stars of the Belt, the Nebula is patterned by dark dust-lanes that branch out from one another much like the boughs of a burning tree.

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