September 24, 2015: Not long before the dawn of recorded human history, our distant ancestors would
have witnessed what appeared to be a bright new star briefly blazing in the
northern sky, rivaling the glow of our moon. In fact, it was the titanic
detonation of a bloated star much more massive than our sun. Now, thousands of
years later, the expanding remnant of that blast can be seen as the Cygnus Loop,
a donut-shaped nebula that is six times the apparent diameter of the full moon.
The Hubble Space Telescope was used to zoom into a small portion of that remnant,
called the Veil Nebula. Hubble resolves tangled rope-like filaments of glowing
gases. Supernovae enrich space with heavier elements used in the
formation of future stars and planets — and possibly life.
Learn even more about the Veil Nebula in a discussion with Hubble Heritage Team scientists during the live Hubble Hangout at 3pm EDT on Thurs., Sept. 24 at http://hbbl.us/z7f .