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Dates & Location

December 29 & 31 2008 SMAP site at Weed, New Mexico. Elevation 7269 ft. Lat 32.8°N Long 195.5W  

Catalogue identification

Thor's Helmet.
NGC 2359
Equipment Used Officina Stellare RC400 at 3304 mm focal length.
ME German Equatorial Mount.
Camera SBIG ST-11000M.SBIG FW-8L Filter Wheel
TheSky V6 Telescope control
MaxIm DL V4.53 Camera control.

Where it is in space

Constellation of Canis Major, in our Milky Way Galaxy. Thor's Helmet lies about 15,000 light years distant.
Acquisition Remote session using RADMIN PC control from Ravenshead, UK. LRGB exposures:- 160:80:80:80mins using 10min sub-exposures   What it is The bubble-like effect of the centre of this nebula is created by the unusual "Wolf-Rayet" type star - quite a rare type of very massive star - that can be seen near the centre of the bubble. These stars are young and incredibly hot (25,000-50,000K) and expel their outer layers of gas at tremendous velocities (thousands of kilometres per second) as instability caused by the unusually high mass of the star causes massive volumes of its atmosphere to be ejected through radiation pressure early in its life. This particular star lives in an area of the galaxy (at least 10,000 light years away) in the direction of the constellation of Canis Major that contains clouds of interstellar gas and has blown a bubble of gas in its neighbourhood This bubble is still expanding and is continually irradiated as it does so. The intense UV and other high energy radiation also excites and illuminates the atomic and molecular gas cloud from which it originally formed. This particular bubble has a high oxygen content which gives rise to the unusual green/cyan emission colouring. Another example of this phenomena is the Bubble Nebula in the constellation of Cassiopeia, but with mainly hydrogen emission content.

Processing Methods

Images acquisition and telescope control with MaxIm DL V4.53  
  Data reduction and Luminence De-convolution with CCDStack  
  Master RGB image and Master Lum Image with CCDStack. Finished in PSCS2