| 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
|L R G B color production was used to create this image.||
Minimum credit line: Peter and Suzie Erickson/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF
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