Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history [ http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_334000/334517.stm ], a new light must suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was an exploding star [ http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/supernovae.html ] and record the colorful expanding cloud as the Veil Nebula [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap010928.html ]. Pictured above [ http://starryscapes.com/nebula/ngc6960.html ] is the west end of the Veil Nebula [ http://www.astropix.com/HTML/E_SUM_N/VEIL.HTM ] known technically as NGC [ http://www.ngcic.com/dss/dss_images.htm ] 6960 but less formally as the Witch's Broom Nebula. The rampaging gas gains its colors by impacting and exciting existing [ http://www.seds.org/billa/twn/cygnusx.html ] nearby gas. The supernova remnant [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/supernova_remnants.html ] lies about 1400 light-years [ http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question19.html ] away towards the constellation of Cygnus [ http://www.multimania.com/cdadfs/constellation/cygne/cygnus.htm ]. This Witch's Broom actually spans over three times the angular size [ http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/YBA/HTCas-size/more-ang_size.html ] of the full Moon [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/moon.html ]. The bright blue star 52 Cygnus [ http://www.seds.org/Maps/Stars_en/Fig/cygnus.html ] is visible with the unaided eye from a dark location but unrelated to the ancient supernova [ http://www.chapman.edu/oca/benet/intro_sn.htm ].
Credit and Copyright:
//www.starryscapes.com/etc/legal.html">Copyright: Loke Kun Tan (StarryScapes [ http://www.starrysc ])
//www.starryscapes.com/etc/legal.html">Copyright: Loke Kun Tan (StarryScapes [ http://www.starryscapes.com/ ])