Friday, August 27, 2010

The Other Side of the Veil Nebula

Click on the image for a large view
As you read in my last post, the "Witches Broom" is one part of a very large supernova remnant.  To the east of the Witches Broom, 3 degrees away, is the other half of this beautiful complex of gas expelled from an exploded star.  The remaining pieces of the star formed a shell of material similar to a bubble.  Just like a bubble, we can see right through the middle.  The shock wave that created the shell is expanding the filamentary matter out, away from where the star was located.  Only along the edges of the shell, where we see it edge on, can we see the fine branches of seemingly intertwining nebulosity.  The colors come from the presence of oxygen, sulfer and hydrogen made to glow from the energy of starlight.

There is another part of this wonderful nebula in between these two images called Pickering's (Fleming's) Wisp.  It is much fainter, but I am hoping to photograph it during the next new moon phase in a week or so.

The beautiful, delicate lacework is a wonderful sight in large telescopes.  Since the nebula is so large, one has to move the telescope along the wispy tendrils of gas to catch it all in the eyepiece.

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