Uncovering the Veil Nebula

This image shows a beautiful portion of the Veil Nebula - the shattered remains of a supernova that exploded some 5-10,000 years ago. The intertwined rope-like filaments of gas result from the enormous amounts of energy released as the fast-moving debris from the explosion ploughs into its surroundings and creates shock fronts.

The image displays two characteristic features: sharp filaments and diffuse emission. These correspond to two different viewing geometries: sharp filaments correspond to an edge-on view of a shock front, and diffuse emission corresponds to a face-on view of it.

This image is a small portion of the Veil located in the western part of the Veil (to the left in the overview image). The entire structure spans about 3 degrees, corresponding to about 6 full moons.

The image was taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) on board the Hubble Space Telescope. The colour is produced by composite of three different images. The different colours indicate emission from different kinds of atoms excited by the shock: blue shows oxygen, green shows sulphur, and red shows hydrogen.

Credit:

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

About the Image

Id:heic0712c
Type:Observation
Release date:31 July 2007, 15:00
Related releases:heic0712
Size:1494 x 753 px

About the Object

Name:Cygnus Loop, NGC 6960, Veil Nebula
Type:Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Supernova Remnant
Distance:1500 light years
Constellation:Cygnus
Category:Nebulae

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Coordinates

Position (RA):20 56 18.14
Position (Dec):30° 21' 55.07"
Field of view:2.48 x 1.25 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 22.3° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
Oiii
502 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
Sii
673 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
H-alpha
656 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

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