Hubble captures the images of a dead star, blown apart by a supernova
Thousands of years ago, a star roughly 20 times the size of our own exploded, creating a spectacular show. The aftermath became the Veil Nebula, a stunningly beautiful area that the Hubble Telescope recently sent back some incredible images from.
The Veil Nebula was first discovered in 1785 by astronomer William Herschel, and it can be found roughly 2,100 light years from Earth. It is difficult for Earth bound astronomers to see, given that it occupies and area over 110 light years. The recently returned images focus on just a small portion of it, but they are stunning.
The light show consists of several filaments and “rope-like” structures that, according to Huffington Post, were formed when a star exploded and the impact wave hit the wall of the nebula, which consists of gas and dust.
The bright red sections are due to hydrogen, while the green and blue are down to sulfur and oxygen, respectively. The brighter the area, the denser the materials when the explosion hit.
These are the second set of images taken of the area by Hubble. The first were captured in 1997, and astronomers plan to compare them with the new set to determine the speed of the nebula’s expansion.
Check out the show below from NASA, giving us a 3D flyover of the nebula.