Hubble team releases reprocessed image of Veil Nebula

A small portion of the Veil Nebula, which is part of a supernova remnant called the Cygnus Loop, was featured in previous Hubble photos, but now new processing techniques have been applied, bringing out fine details of the Veil Nebula’s delicate threads and filaments of ionized gas.

The Cygnus Loop is a large donut-shaped nebula located approximately 2,400 light-years away from Earth. Also known as W78 and Sharpless 103, it is actually an expanding blast wave from a supernova explosion that occurred about 15,000 years ago. Its name comes from its position in the northern constellation of Cygnus, where it covers an area 36 times larger than the full Moon. The visual portion of the supernova remnant is known as the Veil Nebula, also called the Cirrus Nebula or the Filamentary Nebula.

Hubble astronomers said, the nebula’s progenitor star which was 20 times the mass of the Sun lived fast and died young, ending its life in a cataclysmic release of energy. Despite this stellar violence, the shockwaves and debris from the supernova sculpted the nebula’s delicate tracery of ionized gas — creating a scene of surprising astronomical beauty.

To create this colorful image, of the Veil Nebula observations taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) instrument through five different filters were used. The new post-processing methods have further enhanced details of emissions from doubly ionized oxygen (blue), ionized hydrogen and ionized nitrogen.

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