NASA released last Friday (2) an image obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope that revisits the Veil Nebula (Veil Nebula). In it, new processing techniques were applied, bringing to light details of the delicate strands and filaments of ionized gas in the nebula.
To create this color image, observations were made with the Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 instrument using five different filters.
The new post-processing methods have further enhanced the details of double-ionized oxygen emissions (seen in shades of blue), ionized hydrogen and ionized nitrogen (seen in shades of red).
The Veil Nebula is about 2.100 light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Cygnus (the Swan), which makes it a relatively close neighbor in astronomical terms. Only a small part of the nebula was captured in this image.
The Veil Nebula is the visible portion of the Cygnus Loop, a supernova remnant formed about 10.000 years ago by the death of a massive star. This star - which was 20 times the mass of the Sun - died young, ending its life in a cataclysmic release power.
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Despite this stellar violence, the shock waves and the debris of the supernova sculpted the delicate lacework of ionized gas from the Veil Nebula - creating a scenario of astonishing astronomical beauty.
The veil nebula is also featured in the Caldwell Catalog (index Caldwell 34), a collection of astronomical objects that were photographed by Hubble and are visible to amateur astronomers in the night sky.
Released 30 years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope revolutionized astronomy and was essential, for example, to confirm the science hypothesis about the existence of black holes in the heart of galaxies.
The telescope has also contributed to scientists observing distant supernovae and finding evidence that the universe may be expanding at an accelerating rate. To celebrate the anniversary, the European space agency (ESA) published the video above, in which it recalls the main achievements, and images, captured by the instrument.