The Veil Nebula lies around 2,100 light-years from Earth in the constellation of Cygnus (the Swan), making it a relatively close neighbor in astronomical terms. The Veil Nebula is the visible portion of the nearby Cygnus Loop, a supernova remnant formed roughly 10,000 years ago by the death of a massive star. That star – which was 20 times the mass of the Sun – lived fast and died young, ending its life in a cataclysmic release of energy. Despite this stellar violence, the shockwaves and debris from the supernova sculpted the Veil Nebula’s delicate tracery of ionized gas – creating a scene of surprising astronomical beauty.
From the moment the source star exploded and until now, the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant expanded to a diameter of roughly 3° on the sky (that almost 6 full moons). The red hues in this image are from ionized hydrogen content of gas clouds that emit light in the H-alpha wavelength, while the cyan hues are from oxygen ions.
This object is too large for my telescope’s field of view, so I had to take 2 sets of image and then merge them. Each panel was imaged for 7.25 hours – 30 image of Luminance of 10 minutes and 9 images of each color of 5 minutes each). That’s a total of 15.5 hours.