N2359 is a stellar wind-blown shell nebula around the Wolf-Rayet star HD56925 approximately 15,000 light-years from the Earth. It is located in the constellation Canis Major. HD56925 is the bright star located at the center of the main bubble. This type of star is much more massive and hotter than our Sun. Wolf-Rayet stars are rare. Only about 300 are known to exist in the Milky Way. This rarity makes NGC 2359 an interesting object of study and observation. Wolf-Rayet stars expel material in an extremely violent stellar wind with velocities approaching 2000 kilometers per second. The ejected material interacts with the gas and dust around the star producing the bubble structure seen in the image above. The star is ejecting material at a prodigious rate and cannot sustain its extreme behavior for long and it will end its life in a spectacular supernova explosion.
The image above was assembled using narrowband filtered data with Ha mapped to red and OIII mapped to blue. The green channel was synthetically created by combining the Ha and OIII data using Noel Caboni's Photoshop Actions.
A Tri-Color (Hubble-Palette) Narrowband image of NGC 2359 may be viewed here.