Thor’s Helmet in H-a, OIII, RGB

Thor’s Helmet in H-a, OIII, RGB

NGC 2359

Constellation: Canis Major
Ra: 7h 19m 3s
Dec: -13d 14m 44s
Distance: 15,000 light years
Image Size: 36' x 24'
North: Up



Selected as the NASA Astronomical Picture of the Day (APOD), February 2, 2006

Here is the H-a luminance:
NGC2359 is a Wolf-Rayet (WR) nebula powered by the strong winds from massive WR star HD56925.  It is a spectacular example of the interaction between dense stellar winds and the interstellar medium. The "U" shaped region of diffuse HII is thought to have been created by the O-star ancestor of the WR star. The egg-shaped, wind-blown bubble is rich in OIII and H-a that is colliding with the diffuse HII region on its eastern side.  It is thought that the H-a emission comes from three different origins: diffuse emission from from the large HII region, and from the bubble, both thick filaments which are stationary and a thin expanding membrane which is overruning them. The WR star represents a stage in massive-star evolution that immediately precedes a supernova explosion.

Exposure: 11.5 hours Total; 7 hrs H-a, 2.5 hrs OIII, 2 hr RGB
Telescope: RCOS 16" RC f/8.9 tube
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount ME
Oag: Astrodon MonsterMOAG
Acquisition: CCD AutoPilot2.25
Calibration: CCDStack
Observatory Site: Sierra-Remote Observatories, Shaver Lake, CA
Camera: SBIG STL11000
Filters: Astrodon 6 nm H-a, OIII Gen 1 RGB
Guider: SBIG STL Remote
Camera Operation: MaximDL4.62
Processing: Photoshop CS
Image Date: 01/10/2006

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