A Supernova Remnant in Cygnus

December 11, 2015


: Greg Parker
Summary Author: Greg Parker

This image shows a 5,000 - 8,000-year-old supernova remnant in the constellation Cygnus known as the Veil Nebula. If you can imagine this region being filled with a spherical shell of ionized gases, then the reason we see the bright crescent-shaped strips to the right and left is because here we're looking through the thickest layers of gas. The bright crescent-shaped strip on the right is also called the Witch's Broom Nebula. Towards the center of the image, where we see through the thinnest gas layers, we hardly see any light emission at all from ionized gas. Red emission is from ionized hydrogen atoms (HII), and the green-blue emission is from ionized oxygen (OIII). The diameter of the Veil Nebula is approximately 3 degrees, where the diameter of a full Moon is just half a degree. So this nebula is huge, presenting me with quite a problem when it came to imaging it --  see below.

Photo Details: Captured from the New Forest Observatory in England, using a Sky 90 (90 mm objective lens) refractor telescope and a 6-megapixel one-shot color CCD (a Starlight Xpress M25C). Click here for more details about how this image was made.