Unusual Planetary Nebula in Puppis

Constellation: Puppis
Ra: 07h 42m 24s
Dec: -32d 47m 45m
Distance: 6000 light years
Image Size: 30' x 30'
North: Up, East Left



HFG2 (G247.5-04.7) was discovered by Heckathorn, Fesen and Gull in 1983. It is located in the southern constellation of Puppis about 6,000 light years distant (D. Frew, Ph.D. thesis, 2008). This planetary nebula (PN) is elliptical in shape with “pitted” structure approximately 3 x 2.5′. The bright region to its lower right is part of the interstellar medium (ISM) that the PN is interacting with. There is a band of H-a emission appearing diagonally across the image. There is a larger OIII-enriched halo structure extending above and to the left of HFG2. Its origin is unclear, and I could not find any reference to it in the literature. Overall, the combination of PN and ISM emissions resembles Thor’s Helmet (https://astrodonimaging.com/gallery/thors-helmet-in-h-a-oiii-rgb/), NGC 2359, which is a Wolf-Rayet bubble in Canis Major. This may be the first color image of HFG2.

Exposure: 16.8 hrs Total; 6.5 hrs H-a, 8 hrs OIII, 2.3 hrs RGB
Telescope: PlaneWave CDK20 0.5m f/6.8
Mount: PlaneWave Ascension A200h
Oag: Astrodon MonsterMOAG
Acquisition: ACP-8 Expert
Calibration: CCDStack v2
Observatory Site: iTelescope.net, Siding Spring, NSW, Australia
Camera: SBIG STX16803
Filters: Astrodon 5 nm H-a, 3 nm OIII, E-Series RGB
Guider: SX Lodestar
Camera Operation: MaximDL 5.24
Processing: Photoshop CC 2018
Image Date: 12/06/2017 - 12/14/2017


  1. Josep Drudis

    Unusual and indeed an extremely beautiful object, masterfully processed. Impressive image, Don, congratulations! I like this “brainy” structure, it really resembles the Thor’s Helmet.

    • astrodon

      Thanks, Josep. You should image Thor’s Helmet with your northern hemisphere system and compare!

  2. Sakib

    This is amazing! Puppis is full of strange unusual nebulae and you do them well. Background nebulosity is always an added bonus. I hope you image many more unphotographed southern PN!


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