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Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2009

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Eastern Veil Supernova Remnant, Peter VandenBerg

Eastern Veil Supernova Remnant

This is a picture of a small piece of what is left over from the explosion of a star that happened between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago. During the life of the star, the fusion that takes place produces multiple different elements including oxygen, silicon, sulfur, carbon and iron which it then expelled out into space when it exploded. The start that exploded is, of course, no longer visible here, but it would have been huge when it was still around. The Veil Supernova Remnant is a very large object that continues to grow because it was formed by the explosion of a star. This remnant was discovered in 1784 by William Herschel who did a lot of work in astronomy. The remnant is between 1,400 light years and 2,600 light years away in the direction of the Cygnus constellation. The whole remnant is about 77 light years across. This picture only shows about one tenth of the whole object. The whole remnant is about 2 degrees across in the sky which means that it appears to be about 4 times larger than the full moon, but is much dimmer than the moon. This photograph is about 40% of the size of the full moon in the sky.

In this image, the pink color that can be seen is due to the hydrogen expelled from the supernova event and the green color is due to oxygen. These colors are produced by generally colorless gasses because they have been heated by the shock wave from the supernova. The shockwave of a supernova sweeps along and heats up the things it contacts causing them to glow. It can also cause a gas cloud to collape into a new star when it hits it which is how our Sun formed.

References:
Cannistra, Steve. "Eastern Veil Supernova Remnant." Starry Wonders Astrophotography <http://www.starrywonders.com/ngc6992hargb.html>

Mandel, Steve . NGC 6992: A Glimpse of the Veil . Hidden Valley Observatory , 2001. Michigan Tech. U. 16 Nov. 2006 <http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/apod/apod_search?NGC+6992>.

Veil Nebula. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc, 2006. 16 Nov. 2006 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veil_Nebula>.

Right Ascension (J2000) 22:57:35
Declination (J2000) 31:11:10
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in C, 300 seconds in BVR
Date observed

November 1, 2009 (CBVR)