NGC 2024 the Flame Nebula
This is a colourful image of Alnitak area, in the Orion’s Belt. Alnitak, also known as Zeta Orionis (Zeta Ori) is a supergiant star with a brightness 35,000 times greater than the Sun. Its mass is 20 times the solar mass.
Alnitak excites and heats up the gases in the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024) causing it to glow showing unique and beautiful colours. The dark central area in the Flame Nebula is caused by a lane of dust in the foreground. The Flame Nebula was discovered by Wilhelm Herschel in 1786.
Also visible at top right IC 432 and IC 431, two nebulas that bright reflecting Alnitak’s light.