Behind the Veil

This is a small portion of the Veil Nebula — the shattered remains of a supernova that exploded thousands of years ago.

“The Veil Nebula streams through space like an iridescent silk scarf, but its origins are anything but delicate. The filaments of hot, ionized gas are the remnants of a long-dead star.

The Veil Nebula is the visible portion of a structure known as the Cygnus Loop due to its location 1,400 light-years away in the constellation of the Swan. The entire Loop covers an area equivalent to nearly six full moons.

This image is only a small part of the western Veil. The whole of the nebula is vast and complex, composed of several structures with their own NGC designations within three larger divisions–Caldwell 33, Caldwell 34, and Pickering’s Triangle. The Witch’s Broom nebula also lies on the western side.

The Veil Nebula’s wispy tendrils were formed as a result of shockwaves colliding with debris, and here the colors designate different types of atoms that were ionized during the blast. Red signifies hydrogen, blue is for oxygen, and green represents sulfur. ”


Image: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgment: J. Hester (Arizona State University)


via [The Universe]

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