Thor’s Helmet Nebula

NGC 2359

Thor's Helmet Nebula

NGC 2359, which is known as Thor’s Helmet Nebula is an emission nebula.  It can be found in the constellation Canis Major – which is one of the hunting dog constellations near Orion.   This nebula is about 15,000 light years away and is about 30 light years in size.

Thor’s Helmet is a lot like the Bubble Nebula.  It has a Wolf-Rayet star in the center which is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a pre-supernova stage.  The nebula gets it’s shape from the star’s  interaction with a nearby large molecular cloud. 

Thor's Helmet

Notice the similarity to Thor's Helmet

As you can see in the above image, the Wolf-Rayet star (GSC 5407:3417) has created a large bow shock in the nebula which gives the helmet it’s unique shape. 

If you take a look at the picture to the right, you can see how this interesting nebula got it’s name!

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