Greetings of the Season from the Veil Nebula
The Hubble Telescope was used to zoom into a small section of the expanding remains of a massive star that exploded about 8,000 years ago. Called the Veil Nebula, the debris is one of the best-known supernova remnants. The entire nebula is 110 light-years across, and resides about 2,100 light-years away in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.
This close-up view is a mosaic of six Hubble pictures of a small area roughly two light-years across; covering only a tiny fraction of the nebula's vast structure. Wisps of gas are all that remain of what was once a star 20 times more massive than our sun. The fast-moving blast wave from the ancient explosion is plowing into a wall of cool, denser interstellar gas, emitting light. The nebula lies along the edge of a large bubble of low-density gas that was blown into space by the dying star prior to its self-detonation.
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