My image of the Veil Nebula showing the delicate wispy remains of a supernova remnant. A supernova is the final destructive explosion of a massive star and can temporarily outshine the output of the host galaxy it resides in at the stars dramatic death. The expanding shock wave from the explosion is the remains that we see today of the Veil Nebula.
Specifically, this image is just a small visual part of the Cygnus Loop know as NGC 6960, also knows as the Western Veil and the Witch’s Broom nebula. This supernova remnant at a distance of 1500 light years distant with its clouds of ionised dust and gas exploded 8000-8000 years ago and has continued to expand so that it now covers 3° in diameter.
The Veil Nebula It is relatively bright with an average magnitude of 7 but it is spread over such a large area that its actual surface brightness is quite low, so large that this image covers only half of the Veil Nebula. It can be difficult to spot in less than ideal conditions, urban skies and light pollution will severely limit and an OIII filter my be needed. Point to the bright star of 52 Cygni in the constellation of Cygnus and it will be in view. An 8 inch telescope will show the wispy filament like structures of the nebula. Click the image for a larger view.
This image of the Veil Nebula was taken with a Planewave 20″ telescope and an FLI Proline CCD on the iTelecope remote network and is comprised of 3 x 120 second Luminance exposures and 1 x 120 each of Red, Green and Blue filters. All exposures were stacked in CCDStack to form the final image which was then further processed in Photoshop.