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.