Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

IC 405 Flaming Star Nebula

IC 410 Tadpole Nebula




The Flaming Star Nebula in the upper right of the photo (north is up) is part of a dust cloud illuminated by the "runaway" star AE Aurigae.  This bright star is a transient visitor to this region and is thought to be ejected from the Orion Nebula by the collision of two binary star groups.  Ultraviolet radiation from the star ionizes and excites hydrogen gas and causes the gas cloud to glow red.  A smaller region closer to the star shines blue, due to dust reflecting the starlight.  The Tadpole Nebula is visible in the lower left of the photo and contains the open cluster NGC 1893 and was discovered long before the surrounding emission nebula IC 410.  The stellar wind from these young stars sculpts some of the nebula's gas and dust into two "tadpoles" at the upper right of the gas cloud...although I find it hard to visualize. 


  • Date & Location:  November 21, 2009 - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm wind, 34F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Clear with good transparency. 

  • Optics:  TeleVue TV60is Refractor (360mm -f/6) with field flattener.

  • Filter:  Hutech IDAS-LPS (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  Losmandy G-11 equatorial with Gemini V4

  • Guiding:  Orion Solitaire w/TeleVue NP101is

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  46 min (1 x 9 min, 4 x 8 min, 1 x 5 min) @ ISO 800, RAW

  • Calibration Frames:  In camera dark frame subtraction

  • Processing:  Photoshop CS4, Noise Ninja, NIK 

  • Comments:  This image was captured as the constellation Auriga was  crossing the meridian.



Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors