The photo above is just a feature of the Eastern Veil Nebula. The Nebula is a supernova remnant. A supernova is what is left of an exploded star. The remnant is an expanding shell of debris that has created a nebula that can radiate light, radio waves and X-rays for up to thousands of years. The full Nebula is so large that both the fainter and brighter parts where cataloged as several different objects. It was discovered by William Herschel on September 5, 1784 but it wasn't photographed until 1904.
This particular photograph captures the lower part of the bright nebula. It is also named the Network Nebula. The red coloring is a clue that the nebula is mostly made up of hydrogen. This specific part of the nebula is so dense because the star exploded so long ago that the nebula is moving away from the center and being pushed towards the border like a snowplow. The distance to the entire nebula is estimated to be 2.6 kly (Frommert); also the maximum angular size of the whole nebula is 12 arcminutes.
Gottlieb, Steve. "Dissecting the Veil Nebula." Astronomy Mall. <http://www.astronomy-mall.com/Adventures.In.Deep.Space/Dissecting%20the%20Veil%20Nebula.html>
Frommert, Hartmut and Kronberg, Christine. "NGC 6960." Students for the Exploration and Development of Space. <http://spider.seds.org/spider/Misc/veil.html>
|Right Ascension (J2000)||'20 57 06.00'|
|Declination (J2000)||'+31 12 59.0'|
|Filters used||B (Blue), R (Red), V (Green)|
|Exposure time per filter||B (60s), V (60s), and R (60s);|
|Date observed||October 25, 2012|