Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sharp DSS2 image of NGC 2359, the Thor's Helmet Nebula in CMa

Click on the image to enlarge

NGC 2359, the Thor's Helmet Nebula, aka Sh2-298, is an emission nebula in the constellation Canis Major. The nebula is approximately 15,000 light-years away and 30 light years in size. Known as a Wolf-Rayet star, the central star is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova stage of evolution. It is similar in nature to the Bubble Nebula, interactions with a nearby large molecular cloud are thought to have contributed to the more complex shape and curved bow-shock structure of Thor's Helmet.
Credit & Copyright: Mike Halderman/Caltech/Anglo-Australian Observatory (AAO)/Digitized Sky Survey 2

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