The NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope has photographed the Flame Nebula. It is located in the constellation Orion.

The Flame Nebula is officially named NGC 2024. It is a large star-forming region in the constellation Orion, about 1,400 light-years from Earth. The nebula is part of the Orion molecular cloud complex and includes famous nebulae such as the Horsehead Nebula and the Orion Nebula.

The new image of Hubble shows the dusty heart of the nebula, home to a cluster of stars. It is usually hidden from observation. Not far from this place (although not visible in the image) is the bright star Alnitak, the easternmost star in Orion’s Belt (Zeta Orion). its radiation ionizes hydrogen gas in the Flame Nebula. As the gas begins to cool, it emits energy in the form of light, causing a visible glow behind the swirling wisps of dust.

The constellation Orion is one of the most visible in the night sky. It is easy to find it by the three blue-white stars depicting Orion’s belt – Mintak (Orion’s delta), which in Arabic means “belt”, Alnilam (Orion’s epsilon) – “pearl belt” and Alnitak (Orion’s zeta) – “sash”. The brightest stars are Rigel, Betelgeuse and Bellatrix. Orion is home to the Great Orion Nebula, visible to the naked eye.