The Dolphin Head nebula – Brian Boyle


The Dolphin Head nebula is situated in the constellation of Canis Major, about 10degrees south of brightest star in the sky, Sirius. The nebula is made up of gas expelled from the outer layers of the star at its centre. The star, EZ Canis Majoris, is in a pre-supernova phase, shedding its outer layers as prelude to detonation. The Dolphin Head is about 4500 light years from Earth.

The image was taken using filters tuned to the light from ionised oxygen atoms (blue) and ionised hydrogen atoms (red). Although most of the material is composed of hydrogen, the ionisation state of the gas is such that emission from ionised oxygen shows up strongly in the gas bubble which comprises the Dolphin Head.

The image also contains diffuse emission from the intergalactic gas in the region, almost as if the Dolphin were swimming in an intergalactic coral reef.


Camera Settings

TS Hypergraph 200mm f/3.2 telescope, ZWO ASI6200MM sensor, Optolong narrowband filters, 35 x 600sec

Sale Details

$750 (inc GST)