A detailed view of a section of the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant, from NASA.
View larger. | While appearing as a delicate and light veil draped across the sky, this image from the Hubble Space Telescope actually depicts a very small section of what’s known as the Cygnus Loop Nebula – a supernova remnant – in this case located around 2,400 light-years away. The name of the supernova remnant comes from its position in the northern constellation of Cygnus the Swan. NASA said: “The original supernova explosion blasted apart a dying star about 20 times more massive than our sun between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago. Since then, the remnant has expanded 60 light-years from its center. The shockwave marks the outer edge of the supernova remnant and continues to expand at around 200 miles per second (350 km/sec). The interaction of the ejected material and the low-density interstellar material swept up by the shockwave forms the distinctive veil-like structure seen in this image.” Image via ESA/ NASA Hubble Space Telescope/ W. Blair/ Leo Shatz.
Read more: Hubble Space Telescope Sees Outer Edge of Cygnus Loop
This image – also acquired with the Hubble Space Telescope – shows a larger portion of the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant, which marks the edge of a bubble-like, expanding blast wave from a colossal stellar explosion that occurred thousands of years ago. Read more about this image from NASA on the Commons. Image via Flickr.
Bottom line: A detailed look at a small portion of the Cygnus Loop Nebula – a supernova remnant – followed by two images that show the nebula from more and more distant perspectives.
Via Hubble Space Telescope