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NGC 6995

This the NGC 6995. It is is only the South Eastern portion of that debris. The entire field is called the Veil Nebula. It is remnants of a supernova that has burned out and exploded between five and eight thousand years ago. The explosion would have been bright enough to have been seen by ancient civilizations, since on earth it would have been as bright as a crescent moon. The supernova itself has been estimated to have been about 1,470 light years away from earth. The remnants have been spreading out, and now span 90 light years across, which would come out to be roughly six full moons. This image is only a fraction of that, since it is 0.0855 light years across, or what one and a half football fields on the moon would look like. It has been debated as to if you can see this Veil Nebula on a clear night using a special filter held up to your eye. It is in the Cygnus constellation, also known as the Swan.

Even though the Nebula emits electromagnetic waves ranging from X-Ray to radio, this image was taken using the human visual spectrum. The primary colors were used, as well as a clear photo to keep it all in balance. The main colors seen are the red and green. Which are from the sulfur, the green, and hydrogen, the red. There is also a bit of blue, which is harder to see in this image. The blue is from oxygen. Hydrogen is rather expected, since it is the most common element. The surprise is the oxygen and sulfur, which are extremely rare in the universe. That is how astronomers get to find out the contents of supernovas, since this is the exploded bits of one spread out, the equivelent to a biology dissecting table.

References:

Blair, William. "Piercing the Veil: FUSE Observes a Star Behind the Cygnus Loop Supernova Remnant." FUSE Science Summaries. <http://fuse.pha.jhu.edu/wpb/sci_cyglpstar.html>.

"Uncovering the Veil." Hubble. <http://www.spacetelescope.org/news/heic0712/>

Right Ascension (J2000) 20:57:06
Declination (J2000) 31:13:00
Filters used B (Blue), C (Clear), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure time per filter B, V, R and C (60s x 5)
Date observed October 13, 2011

 

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