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Jon Greif

Location of Photo:

Auberry CA, USA, remotely from Alpine CA

Date/Time of photo:

January 15, 2024, from 10 pm to 2 am PST


Planewave 24 inch CDK on Planewave HR mount, FLI-PL09000 CCD camera with Astrodon Ha and Oiii NB filters. Processed with Pixinsight 1.8.9-2 on MacBook Pro.


Thor not only has his own day (Thursday), but a helmet in the heavens. Popularly called Thor's Helmet, NGC 2359 is a hat-shaped cosmic cloud with wing-like appendages. Heroically sized even for a Norse god, Thor's Helmet is about 30 light-years across. In fact, the cosmic head-covering is more like an interstellar bubble, blown with a fast wind from the bright, massive star near the bubble's center. Known as a Wolf-Rayet star, the central star is an extremely hot giant thought to be in a brief, pre-supernova stage of evolution. NGC 2359 is located about 15,000 light-years away toward the constellation Canis Major. This image is a mix of Hydrogen alpha and Oxygen 3 narrowband data blended in what is known as Foraxx Palette cocktail of data collected over two nights this week from the iTelescope.net observatory in Auberry, CA, in the Sierra. The star in the center of Thor's Helmet is expected to explode in a spectacular supernova sometime within the next few thousand years. [Description of Thor's Helmut adapted from a description by NASA.]