Canis Major–Thor’s Helmet Nebula

Wolfways_MoonDoorsNewEditExtra (7)

Discovered in 1975, Thor’s Helmet Nebula/NGC 2359, an emission nebula lies in the constellation of Canis Major (The Great Dog). Composed of cosmic dust and gas it is fashioned by the Wolf-Rayet star, an extremely hot/large, bright star near the core of Thor’s helmet, which arcs through the intergalactic cloud encompassing it.

 (Attribution: Jschulman555, CC BY-SA 4.0 <;, via Wikimedia Commons Page URL:,_Thor%27s_Helmet_(core).jpg )

At a distance in the region of 11.96 thousand light years Thor’s Helmet is believed to be 280,000 times more brilliant than Earth’s Sun and 16 times the mass of the Sun.

As its name suggests this nebula has the appearance of the helmet worn by the mythological Norse God of thunder and lightning – Thor, who also boasts a day named in his honour – Thursday. Even by Norse god standards Thor’s Helmet is impressively large in magnitude, spanning a distance of about 30 light-years and resembling an interstellar bubble. The wings wing-styled projections jutting from Thor’s Helmet, are multifaceted strand-like formations.

(Attribution: European Southern Observatory/B. Bailleul, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons Page URL: )

The interstellar bubble is formed by a stellar wind. And it’s interaction with the interstellar clouds of gas and dust in the region (Molecular clouds), trigger ionising radiation. This is responsible for the Thor’s Helmet nebula’s radiance. It is comparable in disposition to the Bubble Nebula, in the constellation of Cassiopeia.

It is anticipated that in the next few millennia the Wolf-Rayet star, star in the Thor’s Helmet Nebula’s heart will go “supernova” – (spectacular stellar explosion).



9 thoughts on “Canis Major–Thor’s Helmet Nebula

    1. You’d certainly see it coming if it was on someone’s head, Sue! I enjoy the arty side of posting but I do get carried away 😉I have 50,000 “versions” of most of my efforts sitting on the laptop! They never find their way onto the blog obviously and they give me a massive headache trying to choose one that will go in the post😄the chosen one doesn’t always work so well against the background….but probably best not to talk about that background too much!! I know how easy it is to read the text on it…..😅 Hugs and howls to you in Dreamwalker’s garden! (It’s lovely in there😀)

  1. More fabulous facts, Icewolf! 🙂
    In the photo of the Nebula, I saw a face appear, nose and beard very prominent… and then, I saw a pooch’s face appear directly opposite.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s