NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope has reissued an image of Veil Nebula, as it originally contained in 2015. This time, significantly more details are visible thanks to new processing techniques.
As Digital trends reports, the image depicts the haze, the waste from what NASA describes as one of the most famous supernova remnants. The start, which went supernova, is estimated to have been 20 times larger than the Earth’s sun. The name comes from the “delicate, draped filament structures.” The entire nebula is 110 light-years across, which will cover six full moons in the sky as seen from Earth. It is located in the Cygnus constellation, about 2,100 light-years away.
Veil Nebula’s ancestor – who was 20 times the mass of the sun – lived fast and died young, ending his life in a catastrophic release of energy. “Despite this amazing violence, the shock waves and debris from the supernova Veil created Nebula’s delicate traces of ionized gas – creating a scene of astonishing astronomical beauty,” said the European Space Agency (ESA).
The image is a mosaic of six photos taken by Hubble in a small area of the nebula (about two light-years across) and therefore covers only a small fraction of the full structure of the nebulae. The original image uploaded in 2015 can be seen below:
While good, it is significantly lower in resolution than the new process, and the colors and details of the structure of the mists are far less defined. You can see it below:
“Astronomer William Herschel identified the nebula in 1784. His work was followed by Williamina Fleming’s discovery in 1904 of a weaker part of the nebula, called Pickering’s Triangle (after the director of the Harvard College Observatory, where Fleming worked),” writes ESA. Veil Nebula is best seen in early autumn from the northern hemisphere (early spring in the southern hemisphere). Approximately on the order of 8, the nebula is not visible to the naked eye, but it can be seen through a telescope or even binoculars under a dark sky. A fog filter helps to brighten the appearance of the veil and pull out the crisp features. ”
The full image can be downloaded here (warning, the file is quite large).
“To create this colorful image, observations were taken from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 instrument using five different filters,” writes ESA. “The new post-treatment methods have further improved the details of emissions from double ionized oxygen, ionized hydrogen and ionized nitrogen.”
The ionized oxygen is depicted as blue in the image above, while the ionized hydrogen and nitrogen are shown in red.
Veil Nebula was also recently unveiled as part of Hubble’s Caldwell Catalog, a collection of astronomical objects that have been imaged by Hubble and are visible to amateur astronomers in the night sky.
Photo credits: ESA / Hubble & NASA, Z. Levay