The Veil Nebula (Broomstick Section)

Roughly 8,000 years ago a supernova was seen in what we now know as the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. Today the Veil Nebula, also known as the Cygnus Loop, is the only known remnant of this star. The entire loop is about three degrees wide and is composed of two primary sections, with a number of fainter ones. A large amateur telescope reveals all the twisted, filamentary detail seen here. The nebula continues to expand and will eventually disperse into invisibility.

This section isn't as big or as bright as the nebula's other primary arc, but it's easier to find thanks to the naked-eye foreground star 52 Cygni. This section is sometimes called the Broomstick, the Witch's Broom, or the Tornado. The sharp, scimitar-like feature is thought to be a rolling vortex of supernova gasses.

This image with the 155mm scope was one of the more difficult I've made, due to the nebula's low brightness.

Image copyright by Joe Bergeron.