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Hubble Heritage Archive: Veil Nebula Supernova Remnant, NGC 6960

10 Sep 2020, 12:00 UTC
Hubble Heritage Archive: Veil Nebula Supernova Remnant, NGC 6960
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The text and images in this article were originally published on September 24, 2015, and reflect information about NGC 6960 available at that time.

HST 25th Anniversary Special: Hubble Zooms in on the Veil Nebula

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has unveiled in stunning detail a small section of the expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago.

Called the Veil Nebula, the debris is one of the best-known supernova remnants, deriving its name from its delicate, draped filamentary structures. The entire nebula is 110 light-years across, covering six full moons on the sky as seen from Earth, and resides about 2,100 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.

This view is a mosaic of six Hubble pictures of a small area roughly two light-years across, covering only a tiny fraction of the nebula’s vast structure.

This close-up look unveils wisps of gas, which are all that remain of what was once a star 20 times more massive than our sun. The fast-moving blast wave from the ancient explosion is plowing into a wall of cool, denser interstellar gas, emitting light. The nebula lies along the edge of a large bubble of low-density gas that was ...

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