The European Space Agency has released a snapshot of the Veil Nebula, a popular Hubble telescope target. This time it was shown in high definition and with lots of detail.
The Veil Nebula, also the Loop Nebula or the Fishnet Nebula, is a diffuse nebula in the constellation Cygnus, a huge and relatively faint supernova remnant. The star exploded about 5000-8000 years ago, during which time the nebula covered an area of 3 degrees in the sky.
The object was featured in a previous issue of Hubble Telescope photographs. Now the image has been additionally processed. New methods have revealed the smallest details of fine filaments of nebula and filaments of ionized gas.
To create this colorful image, observations were taken from the Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 through 5 different filters. New post-processing techniques have further improved the detail of emissions of double ionized oxygen (shown in blue in the image), ionized hydrogen and ionized nitrogen (shown in red).
The Veil Nebula is approximately 2,400 light years from Earth, making it a relatively close neighbor from an astronomical point of view. In this picture, only a small part of it was captured. The nebula was discovered on September 5, 1784 by William Herschel. It is so large that its parts are considered separate nebulae and have their own names:
- NGC 6960 – Western Arc Including 52 Cyg – Witch’s Broom Nebula
- NGC 6979 – Triangular nebula in the northwest of the loop – Pickering’s Triangle
- NGC 6992 – North East Arc – Pike
- NGC 6995 – southern part of the eastern arc (together with NGC 6992 forms the Network Nebula)
- NGC 6974 and NGC 6979 are a pair of nebula fragments in the northern part of the Loop (between the triangle and the eastern arc)