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NGC 2361 Thors Helmet

NGC 2361 Thor’s Helmet, a name like "Thor's Helmet"  would imply qualities of power and strength and in the case of this nebula all the power and strength is derived from the very active star in the center of the bubble of gas. This unusual star is classified as a "Wolf-Rayet" type and it is a very rare star. These, "Wolf-Rayet", stars are extremely hot at 25,000 to 50,000 Kelvins and eject their outer layers of gas at tremendous speeds, hundreds of miles per second. This "Wolf-Rayet"  star  and bubble lives in an area of the galaxy, at least 10000 light years away, that contains clouds of interstellar gas. Thus, this Wolf-Rayet star has blown a bubble of gas in its neighborhood for us to see! Another example of this phenomenon is the Bubble Nebula.

 The data for this image was taken in the months of December 2012 and January 2013 and has been an object that I have wanted to image for at least 10 years, this image is still a ‘Work In Progress’, there are a few defects or artifacts that I need to clean out of the image before I am completely satisfied with it.

This image was taken in December 2012 and January 2013

This image consists of : RGB = 15 X 10mins, L = 40 X 10mins HA = 55 X 10mins

Equipment:      Software: Site:
Hyperion 12.5
Mountain Instruments MI250
Maxim DL 4.64
The Sky 6
Photo Shop CS2

Oak Hills Observatory
Hesperia, Ca.