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Veil Nebula

 The Veil Nebula is a remnant of a supernova that took place between 5,000 - 10,000 years ago.This planetary nebula was formed as an exploding star spread stellar debri throughout space. The colors that now remain are considered to be the "supernova remnant." The Veil Nebula is within the constellation Cygnus, the Swan and is three degrees across, the equivalent of six full moons.The nebula is roughly 1,500 lightyears away from earth, which is actually the closest nebula to earth. The Veil Nebula was discovered by William Herschel on September 5th, 1783. He considered the discovery of the nebula to be "a most wonderful phenomonen." It is likely that the supernova that created the Veil Nebula was seen from earth to be as bright as the full moon. The people living during this time had to have noticed and were likely amazed by this phenomonen in the sky. Because the nebula is so close, relatively large, and has relativley little foreground extinction, it is considered to be "an ideal laboratory" for studying the various aspects of supernova remnants.

This image shows only a small portion of entire Veil Nebula.We are able to see the whisping green, purple, and pink colorations that are found throughout the Veil Nebula in its entirety. These brilliant colors are produced by the cooling of gases. The explosion from the supernova creates a shock front that moves the stellar debris at roughly 600,000 kilometers per hour. These high speads heat the gases up to millions of degrees. It is actually the cooling of those gases and debris that cause the colourous glow that we see in the image above. The blue wisps are the result of oxygen, the green wisps the result of sulpher, and the red wisps the result of hydrogen. The linear size of this portion of the Veil Nebula is 5.62 light years and the vertical size of this portion of the Veil Nebula is 6.66 light years. The Veil Nebula is a magnificent example of the beauty that can result from our God's immense power. Our God is the creator of the heavens and the earth, and his creation is beautiful.

References:

Christensen, Lars L. and Villard, Ray. "Uncovering The Veil Nebual." Hubble. <http://spacetelescope.org/news/heic0712/>

Gottlieb, Steve. "Dissecting The Veil Nebula." Astronomy Mall. <http://astronomy-mall.com/Adventures.In.Deep.Space/Dissecting%20the%20Veil%20Nebula.html.>

Right Ascension (J2000) 20:46:17.42
Declination (J2000) 30:24:7.96
Filters used B (Blue), C (Clear), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure time per filter B, C, V, and R (60s x 5)
Date observed October 13, 2011

 

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