Best of AOP - Diffuse Nebulae

NGC 2359

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 a "Wolf-Rayet" type and is very rare. These stars are incredibly hot (25,000-50,000K) and expel 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 10,000 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.

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Last Updated: 11-Jun-2014

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About This Image

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Equipment

20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/5.5

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

Taken during very poor seeing over 3 different nights.

Luminance = 90 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Peter and Suzie Erickson/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF