The Thors Helmet Nebula
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The Thor's Helmet Nebula

January 30, 2007

A name like "Thor's Helmet" seems to imply qualities of power and strength. In the case of this nebula all of the power and strength is derived from the very energetic star in the center of the bubble of gas.

This unusual star is classified as being "Wolf-Rayet" type and is very rare. These stars are incredibly hot (25,000-50,000K) and expell their outer layers of gas at tremendous velocities (thousands of kilometers per second).

This particular star 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!

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