NGC 2359 – Thor’s Helmet

Thor’s Helmet (NGC 2359 or SH2-208) is an emission nebula in Canis Major located 12 thousand light years away. At the center of the round bubble is a Wolf-Rayet star, that is thought to be at the early stages of a supernova. This is similar to what is happening in the Bubble Nebula. The Wolf-Rayet type star is what is making this nebula shine.

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Barnard 33 – Horsehead Nebula

The Horsehead Nebula (1,375 light years away) is a located at the left-most star of Orion’s belt. Orion has a lot of interest for the astrophotographer, mostly because of M42 – The Orion Nebula (which can be seen with the naked eye).

The Horsehead Nebula is a dark nebula, in that the dust is so thick that it blocks visible light. The structure around the Horsehead Nebula is lit by the bright star located below and left of the horse’s head in the image.

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IC 1805 – The Heart Nebula

The Heart Nebula is an emission nebula located in the constellation Cassiopeia. The monochrome images shows the glowing, ionized hydrogen gas. Looking at the nebula through a hydrogen-alpha filter, it is quite easy to see how the nebula got its name.

IC 1805 is roughly 7,500 light years away, which means the light captured today, left the nebula 7,500 years ago, about the time humans first started smelting copper.

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