Flaming Star (IC405) and Tadpoles (IC410) nebulae are well-known objects in the constellation of Auriga. Both are emission nebula types, and their apparent sizes in the sky are not so different. However, the Flaming Star is located about 1,500 light-years away, while the Tadpoles are about 8 times further, which means that IC410 is a significantly larger object.

IC405 Flaming Star Nebula is illuminated by AE Aurigae star. That is a blue O-type main sequence variable star. AE Aur is a runaway star that originates in the Trapezium cluster in the Orion Nebula. The collision that ejected AE Aurigae happened about two million years ago. So this star illuminates the Flaming Star nebula, however, was not formed within it. It is passing through the nebula at high speed and produces a violent bow shock. IC405 shines mostly in the red hue that comes from the ionized hydrogen, but there are also visible blueish regions close to the AE Aur – this is just reflected light.

IC410 spans about 100 light-years across. There is an NGC1893 open star cluster inside the nebula that lights the nebula gases. There is significantly more signal from the ionized oxygen in this nebula, and the blue color inside comes mostly from that element, and not from the reflected light.

IC410 and IC405 nebulae
IC410 and IC405 nebulae

The image above contains about 10 hours of exposures made with RGB filters and narrowband hydrogen-alpha and oxygen III band filters. The framing is quite tight, and it is also quite hard to imagine, that IC410 (at the left) is several times more distant and also a larger object. The Tadpoles features in IC410 are actually similar in size to the whole IC405 Flaming Star Nebula in the right part of the image!

Full resolution image https://astrojolo.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/2022-05-06-I410.jpg

Clear skies!

Image technical data:

Date: March 2022
Location: Nieborowice, Poland
Telescope: Tecnosky 90/540 Owl triplet
Corrector: TS FF/FR 0.8x
Camera: QHY268M
Mount: iOptron CEM26
Guiding: ASI290MM + Sonnar 135
Exposure: about 10 hours through Ha, Oiii and RGB filters
Conditions: Bortle 6, transparency good, seeing medium