July 31, 2007
—New close-up images released this week by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are lifting the veil on a supernova remnant that lies about 1,500 light-years away.
This composite image shows a section in the western part of the Veil Nebula—the wispy remains of a star that exploded about 5,000 to 10,000 years ago.
The colors represent different elements present after the blast: hydrogen in red, oxygen in blue, and sulfur in green.
The Veil Nebula's unique combination of rope-like features and diffused clouds are all that's left of a supernova that sent debris flying at nearly 373,000 miles an hour (600,000 kilometers an hour).
The explosion created shock waves that superheated the gases in their paths, causing them to glow.
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Photograph courtesy NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration; acknowledgment, J. Hester (Arizona State University)