NGC 2359: Thor's Helmet


Click on image for larger version.

A name like "Thor's Helmet" seems to imply qualities of power and strength. 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. Thus, this Wolf-Rayet star has blown a bubble of gas in its neighborhood for us to see! Another example of this phenomena is the Bubble Nebula .

Equipment

Image taken with 20in RC Optical Systems Telescope at f/5.5
SBIG ST10XE CCD camera with color filter wheel

L R G B color production was used to create this image.

Luminance = 90 minutes binned 1x1
Red = 20 minutes binned 2x2
Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2
Blue = 20 minutes binned 2x2

  • Taken during very poor seeing over 3 different nights.
  • Minimum credit line: Peter and Suzie Erickson/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF

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    Updated: 12/18/2004