NGC 2359

NGC 2359 — click on image to enlarge

NGC 2359 is otherwise known as Thor’s Helmet due to its resemblance to the famed Norse God of thunder and lightning. The nebula is located in Canis Major, and contains a large bright star whose “stellar wind” is responsible for the creation of the nebula. However, that star is of the unstable “Wolf-Rayet” variety, and may go supernova in the relatively near astronomical future. 

Technical details as follows:

RCOS 16″ @ f/11.3; Apogee U9; Paramount ME; Ha/OIII/RGB with 12 hours Ha, 8 hours OIII, and 2 hours/channel RGB; processed with CCDInspector, Maxim, Registar, Sigma Combine, Neat Image, Photoshop, and PixInsight; SSRO @ CTIO, Chile; data acquired in March 2010.

Selected as one of the best astroimages of 2012 by National Geographic!