Supernova Shock Wave Paints Cosmic Portrait

Remnants from a star that exploded thousands of years ago created a celestial abstract portrait, as captured in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Pencil Nebula.

Officially known as NGC 2736, the Pencil Nebula is part of the huge Vela supernova remnant, located in the southern constellation Vela. Discovered by Sir John Herschel in the 1840s, the nebula's linear appearance triggered its popular name. The nebula's shape suggests that it is part of the supernova shock wave that recently encountered a region of dense gas. It is this interaction that causes the nebula to glow, appearing like a rippled sheet.

Credit:

NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Id:opo0316a
Type:Observation
Release date:5 June 2003, 15:00
Size:3289 x 3252 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 2736, Pencil Nebula
Type:• Milky Way : Nebula : Type : Supernova Remnant
• X - Nebulae Images/Videos
Distance:1600 light years
Constellation:Vela

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
OIII
502 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
H-alpha + Nii
658 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
I
775 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

Image Formats

Large JPEG
4.0 MB
Screensize JPEG
296.5 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
286.3 KB
1280x1024
483.0 KB
1600x1200
731.3 KB

Also see our