Thor's Helmet Nebula (NGC 2359)


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clic here for 60% size 2276 x 1532 (1100 kB)


About this Image

The colorful nebula Thor's Helmet (NGC 2359) is situated in Canis Major, very low for northern observers. In the case of this nebula all of the power and strength is derived from the very energetic star in the center of the bubble of gas. This unusual star is classified as being "Wolf-Rayet" type and is very rare.

These stars are incredibly hot (25,000-50,000K) and expell their outer layers of gas at tremendous velocities (thousands of kilometers per second). This particular star lives in an area of the galaxy (at least 10000 light years away) that contains clouds of interstellar gas. It has blown a bubble of ionisized gas in its neighborhood, emitting both in blue-green (O-III) and in red color (H-alpha).
North is down.
Find a wider view of this area here.

Technical Details


20 " Keller cassegrain in corrected secondary focus at f/9

Mount Liebscher GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -15C, 8-pos STL filter wheel
Filters Baader RGB
Date Apr 29, 2008.
Location IAS/Hakos Namibia
Sky Conditions dark skies, raw FWHM 1.5-2" temperature 15 C,
Exposure R:G:B = 40:40:40 minutes (10-minute sub-exposures);
synthetic luminance used
Programs used Maxim DL 4.5;
Photoshop CS3