Breathtaking, finely detailed images of the Veil Nebula-part of supernova remnant Cygnus Loop-captured by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope present threads and filaments of ionized gas.
Using new processing techniques, the new images provide a fresh, more remarkable perspective of the Veil Nebula, a small portion of which was featured in previous Hubble photos.
Veil Nebula Part of Expanding Supernova
The Cygnus Loop is an immense donut-shaped nebula 2,400 light-years away from Earth. Its blast wave continues to expand after a supernova explosion around 15,000 years ago.
It was named after its specific position in the northern constellation of Cygnus, covering an area that is 36 times larger than the Moon. The fast accelerating blast wave from the supernova plowed into a wall of cool, denser interstellar gas, thus emitting light.
It lies on the edge of a huge bubble of low-density gas, which the dying star hurled into space.
Its visual portion is called the Veil Nebula, which is also identified as the Cirrus Nebula or the Filamentary Nebula.
Hubble astronomers said the nebula's impregnator star, estimated to be 20 times the size of the Sun, lived in a short span of time and died in a cataclysmic explosion of energy. The entire nest-shaped nebula is about 110 light-years across, with the size of six full moons as viewed from the Earth.
The original supergiant star emitted gas and subatomic particles into space riding on powerful stellar winds, crafting itself into an immense bubble of dilute material surrounding itself.
Amid its demise, debris and shockwaves from the supernova slammed onto the shell, heating, and forming the intricate traces of glowing, ionized gas, morphing into such an astronomical wonder. This shockwave continues to expand at a rate of about 350 kilometers per second, astronomers noted. It creates bright filaments, with its brilliant colors generated by temperature variations and chemical densities.
The colorful Veil Nebula images were taken from Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument using five different filters. Emissions from the doubly ionized oxygen (blue), ionized hydrogen, and ionized nitrogen (red) were enhanced to show their finest detail utilizing new post-processing methods.
How to Capture the Veil Nebula
To capture the Veil Nebula, you would need a telephoto lens and multiple time exposures Using a six-inch will faintly show the nebula's brightest parts, called the Western Veil and the Eastern Veil. An Oxygen 3 (O III) filter on large telescopes would discard natural and human-made light pollution, allowing a better view of the nebula, making it an astounding sight.
RELATED ARTICLE: NASA 's Chandra X-ray Shares Stunning Photo of Supernova
Check out more news and information on Astronomy on Science Times.