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The Veil Nebula

An Intricate Fabric in the wake of a Spectacular Stellar Death

veil nebula singapore astronomy astrophotography stars

The Veil Nebula is a supernova remnant located in the constellation of Cygnus. More specifically, the Veil Nebula refers to the visible component of the remnant, which in its entirety is known as the Cygnus loop. The Veil Nebula covers an area of the night sky so large that 36 full moons can fit into the same area, albeit much, much fainter. The progenitor star exploded in relatively recent history some 5000 to 8000 years ago, and people in ancient times would have been able to see it with the brightness of the crescent moon. 

The colours of the supernova remnant tell us much about its composition. Where the red colour originates from hydrogen emissions (which are present in almost all emission nebulae), the teal colours are attributable to ionised oxygen which was expelled from the exploding star. These incredible explosions tell us something fundamental about our origins, which is that supernovae seed the Universe with the heavier elements beyond hydrogen and helium. Without these spectacular deaths to seed the cosmos with elements essential for life, humankind would most certainly not have existed. It is only through the death of these massive stars that we could be here to comprehend their existence. 

Imaging Details

Location: Mersing, Malaysia 
Date(s): June 2016
Telescope: Takahashi FSQ85ED at f/5.3
Camera: SBIG ST8300M 
Mount: Losmandy G11/G2 
Exposure Integration: 2 hours in LRGB

Image reduction, integration and processing with Pleiades Astrophoto PixInsight.

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