The Flaming Star Nebula, IC 405, might just have the coolest nickname of all deep-sky objects. The nebula is located about 1,500 lightyears from Earth and stretches about 5 lightyears across.
This emission and reflection nebula is a glowing cosmic cloud of gas and dust that’s illuminated by AE Aurigae, the bright blue star that dominates images of the target.
Why the name Flaming Star Nebula? Probably as a result of the bright ripples of gas and dust illuminated by AE Aurigae and the glowing hydrogen emission, which make the object look something like a cosmic bonfire out in the depths of space.
Below is a selection of some of the best images of the Flaming Star Nebula captured by BBC Sky at Night Magazine readers and astrophotographers from around the world.
For more info on astrophotography, browse our astrophotography guides or find out more about astrophotography image processing.
And if you like to capture images of the cosmos yourself, don’t forget to send us your images. You can also share them with us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Flaming Star Nebula by John Slinn, Loxwood, West Sussex, UK. Equipment: Modified Canon 450D DSLR, Stellarvue 102 ABV. telescope working at F7.9, Losmandy G11-guided using PHD freeware.
Flaming Star Nebula by Lee Housden, Essex, UK. Equipment: Celestron CPC 8, EQ Wedge piggybacked with Skywatcher 80 mm Apocromatic refractor, qhy5 guide camera, modded canon 450d, clip filter
IC405 – Flaming Star Nebula by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW 150P Newtonian on an EQ5 GoTo Mount, QHY8L cooled ccd camera.
IC405 by Zlatko Orbanic, Pula-Croatia. Equipment: Apo 130/900+F/R, Canon EOS 500D Modif.
C31 Flaming Star Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 8″ Boren simon power newtonian, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters.
IC405 in H-alpha by Chris Heapy, Macclesfield, UK. Equipment: Televue NP127is refractor (f/5.2, 660mm f/l) mounted on a Losmandy G11 mount, guided with a TV Pronto and Lodestar. The main camera was an Atik490EX operating at 1×1 binning.
Flaming Star Nebula by Chris Grimmer, Seething, Norfolk, UK. Equipment: William Optic GT81 triplet Frac, Starlight Xpress SXVR H694 Mono, Baader Narrowband filters, Ioptron CEM60 Standard.
C31 Flaming Star Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik Sii, Ha, Oiii filters, Astro physics 0.67 reducer.
Flaming Star Nebula by Peter Jenkins, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, UK. Equipment: Officina Stellare Hiper Apo 115mm refractor, NEQ6 mount.
IC410 and Flaming Star Nebulas by Chris Heapy, Macclesfield, UK. Equipment: Televue NP127is, Moravian G4-16000, Chroma 3nM Ha, OIII and SII, 10-Micron GM2000HPS-II
C31 Flaming Star Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik LRGB filters, Hutech IDAS light pollution filter, Astro physics 0.67 reducer.
Flaming Star Nebula by Tom Howard, Brighstone, Isle of Wight. Equipment: Nikon D7000 DSLR, TS-Optics 65mm quadruplet, Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 mount.
Flaming Star Nebula by Ahmed Rizwan Khan, London, UK. Equipment: NEQ6 Pro Mount, ASI1600MM-Cool, Astronomik 6nm (Ha, SII & OIII) filters, QHY5L-II guidecam, MaximDL for image acquisition and Pixinsight for processing.
C31 The Flaming Star Nebula by Martin Pyott, St Andrews, UK. Equipment: Lunt Engineering 80mm ED Refractor, 0.8x FF/FR, Skywatcher EQ-5 with Skywatcher WI-FI Adapter (unguided), Baader modified and cooled Canon 600D.
Flaming Star and a Spaghetti Hunt by Graeme Coates, Standlake, Witney, UK. Equipment: Baader modded 350d + Canon 85mm EF f1.8 USM (at f4). 79x5min (6h35m) at ISO400, through an IDAS P2.
NGC 1491 Flaming man Nebula & NGC 1496 Open Star Cluster by Martin Pyott, St Andrews, UK. Equipment: Lunt 80mm ED Refractor with 0.8x FF/FR @ F5.5, Baader modified cooled Canon 600D, Hutech IDAS LP-V4 Filter, EQ-5 Synscan with WI-FI Adapter (Unguided)
IC405 – The Flaming Star Nebula by Alastair Woodward, Derby, UK. Equipment: Sky-watcher 130PDS (HEQ5), ZWO ASI1600mm-c (cooled to -15 Celsius), Baader Narrowband filters (Ha, OIII, SII), Sky-watcher manual filter wheel, Sky-watcher 8×50 finder/guider with QHY5L-II
The Flaming Star by Phillip Froggett, Hertfordshire, UK. Equipment: QHY8L, Skywatcher 200p, NEQ6 mount
Intergalactic Crocodile departing for Auriga by Paul C Swift, Valencia, Spain. Equipment: Vixen VSD, Starlight Express SXVR-H18, Sky-Watcher MX, Vixen VSD, sx loadstar, Baader Ha, OIII & SII, Starlight Xpress USB filter wheel, Baader Planetarium 36mm narrowband filters
IC405 & NGC1893 – Emission Nebula and Open Cluster in Auriga by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW 150P Newtonian, EQ5 GoTo Mount, QHY8L cooled ccd.
IC410, IC405, IC417 and NGC1931 in colour by Sara Wager, Valencia, Spain. Equipment: Avalon Linear Fast Reverse, Takahashi FSQ85, 0.73x reducer, Atik 460EXM, 3nm Ha and OIII filters