Thor's Helmet

May 06, 2018

ThorsHelmet_NBRGBChumackHRweb (1)

Photographer: John Chumack
Summary Author: John Chumack 

The Norse God Thor has lost something, and it’s not his hammer. Shown above is Thor's Helmet, a cloud of interstellar gas set aglow by a very hot Wolf-Rayet Star (WR7) that's believed to be nearing its final days -- it'll go out as a supernova. Because Wolf-Rayet type stars are massive but relatively short-lived, they're quite rare in the Milky Way -- only about 150 have been discovered thus far. Also known as NGC-2359, Gum 4 and Sharpless 2-298, the Thor's Helmet nebula is nearly 30 light years across. It's found in Canis Major, approximately 12,000 light years away. Photo taken from my backyard observatory in Dayton, Ohio on January 19, 2018.

Photo Details: Used a 6 inch (15 cm) diameter telescope and ZWO 174MM cooled Cmos Camera; 3 hours exposure; Narrow Band mapped out to RGB.