IC 405, Flaming Star Nebula

Object Description

IC 405
IC 405: Flaming Star Nebula in Auriga; 500 mm Cassegrain 3625 mm f/7.2, SBIG STL11K; 120+3*40 min LRGB; Bernese Highlands; © 2011 Radek Chromik

IC 405 was discovered on March 21, 1892 by the German-American astronomer Johann Martin Schäberle and in the same year was spotted by the German astronomer Max Wolf and in October by the Hungarian astronomer Eugen von Gothard.

IC 405 is an emission and reflection nebula. The strong UV radiation of the irregular Orion variable, about six magnitudes bright star star AE Aurigae (HR 1712, HIP 24575) is responsible for the glow. This star, however, had not formed in the nebula. AE Aurigae is a runaway star, which is noticeable due to its high space movement of 113 km/s. This could be traced back to the Orion Nebula, from which it is about 60 degrees separated today. About 2.6 million years ago, a near collision of two binary star systems caused AE Aurigae to be ejected from the trapezoid cluster in the Orion Nebula. Other stars that are believed to have originated from this event are μ Columbae and 53 Arietis. The binary star system ι Orionis could have been the other half of this near-collision. According to another theory, a supernova explosion could have been responsible for this. [196, 298] The distance from the star AE Aurigae is given as 405 to 548 parsecs (approx. 1300 to 1800 light years). [145]

«Revised New General Catalogue and Index Catalogue» Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke, 2021 [277]
DesignationIC 405
Right Ascension05h 16m 29.4s
Declination+34° 21' 22"
Diameter30.00 × 20.0 arcmin
Photographic (blue) magnitude10.0 mag
Dreyer Description* 6.7 with pB, vL neb
IdentificationLBN 795, CED 42, in Sh2-229 (Flaming Star nebula)

Finder Chart

IC 405 is located in the southern part of the Auriga pentagon. The best observation time is September to April.

Chart IC 405
Chart created using SkySafari 6 Pro and STScI Digitized Sky Survey. [149, 160]


145SIMBAD astronomical database; simbad.u-strasbg.fr/simbad
149SkySafari 6 Pro, Simulation Curriculum; skysafariastronomy.com
160The STScI Digitized Sky Survey; archive.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/dss_form
196Celestial Atlas by Curtney Seligman; cseligman.com/text/atlas.htm (2020-12-28)
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; klima-luft.de/steinicke (2021-02-17)
298«On the origin of the O and B-type stars with high velocities II Runaway stars and pulsars ejected from the nearby young stellar groups» R. Hoogerwerf, J.H.J. de Bruijne, P.T. de Zeeuw; arXiv:astro-ph/0010057; DOI:10.1051/0004-6361:20000014