NASA has released stunning images of the Veil Nebula, a star that is known to have exploded 8,000 years ago.
First captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, the Veil Nebula gets its name from the delicate and lace-like filamentary structures of its body. It is located in the constellation Cygnus, which is also known as the Swan constellation, and was first observed in 1785 by astronomer William Herschel at a distance of about 2,100 light-years away from our planet.
NASA says that the Veil Nebula was created from the explosion of a star that was 20 times larger than our sun and the blast created “rope-like” structures that are responsible for its silky appearance.
The bright reddish color of the nebula is attributed to the glow that comes from hydrogen, and the green and blue colors that we see are from sulfur and oxygen. NASA explains that the parts that are brightest are due to obstruction that was encountered when the blast took place 8,000 years ago.
Although it is incredibly bright, the Veil Nebula is challenging for astronomers to study since it covers a massive area of about 110 light-years wide, and pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope have only glimpsed a small fraction of its extraordinarily large area.
The new photos taken by Hubble are now being compared to the old images from 1997 to see how the nebula has changed and expanded over the years.