back to article Astroboffins snap BREATHTAKING, WISPY Veil Nebula supernova debris

NASA has released spectacular new photos of a massive star's remnants, dubbed Veil Nebula, following an ancient supernova explosion. Boffins captured the images with the Hubble Space Telescope to show off the debris of the gigantic star, which exploded roughly 8,000 years ago when the supernova that created the Veil Nebula …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I used to see patterns like that when i was a kid.

    I would scrunch my eyes up really tight and i could see all these kinds of universes.

  2. Captain DaFt


    That' all I have to say.

    1. Wzrd1

      Re: Awesome!

      More awesome, the amount of hydrogen and oxygen, carbon is an afterthought. ;)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thanks for my new wallpaper.

  4. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I am comparing this with a picture of the whoée structure (the one shown for the present El Reg article being just a part of the whole Nebula) in a book from 195. Blue-white & black, printed on cheap post-WWII paper, the ink is oily in appearance. There is no detail in the image, the stars are fat dots ...we have come some way, indeed.

    1. Wzrd1

      I have no access to such horrors.

      I only had access to 1960's textbooks to review until this Modern Era, where things digital add terabytes to each day's experience.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scientific terms...

    "...the fluffy green and red structures"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Scientific terms...

      "stuff out of Sesame Street"

    2. Wzrd1

      Re: Scientific terms...

      You'd prefer scientific terms like color, quark, anti-quark, strange...? ;)

  6. flearider

    not really a long time 18 yrs .. more like a blink in star's life or death

  7. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    Would any of this structure be visible to the naked eye if we were closer?

    Also, where do I have to stand to hitch a ride on this ribbon?

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Sir

      The colors are computer-created following what elements the scientists wish to visualize.

      In other words, what you would likely see with your eyes, were you in a position to do so, would most probably be just a shroud of darkness, or maybe wisps of smoke backlight by stars.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        Re: Sir

        There is usually some natural colour, usually red from Hydrogen, in many nebulae, even where artificial colour assignment has not been performed. However as I understand it nebulae are just too diffuse. If you were in it or close enough for the whole thing to fit into the view of the unaided eye, there would not be enough light concentration to see it. Long camera exposures are the only way to see it because they accumulate sufficient photons over a period of time, to make a decent impression on the sensor.

        1. perlcat

          Re: Sir

          If you were in a close position to view this, your view would be rather brief.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That truly is the most difficult level in Mario Kart.

  9. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Anyone know what the video was meant to do?

    I was hoping to see the nebula drifting over time not some random 3d trip.

  10. John Robson Silver badge


    "Astronomers are comparing these new images to ones taken by Hubble in 1997. This comparison allows scientists to study how the nebula has expanded since it was photographed over 18 years ago."

    That's the killer sentence for me. There are a myriad of beautiful things that Hubble has shown us, but it was launched in 1990, and had it's "glasses" fitted in '93 - that's more than twenty years of breathtaking science...

  11. Mike Shepherd

    "dubbed Veil Nebula"

    No, it's been known for over 200 years and it's THE Veil Nebula. No astronomer would say "Veil Nebula", any more than we'd say "BBC announced today...".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "dubbed Veil Nebula"

      "Veil Nebula" somehow sounds like an islamic music band.

  12. druck


    I tend to think of astronomical features being tiny dots in the sky, too small to see with the naked eye, but it's fascinating to know this nebula is over 6 moons wide - if only our eyes were sensitive enough to see it.

  13. Chris Cartledge

    Get Out and Look

    The Veil is very visible in a small telescope from a dark site. A nebula filter helps. It is now an early evening object fading to the west. With a star map it is easy to locate in Cygnus next to Vega high in the south West. However it is very very faint and the light from the moon will obscure it for the next fortnight or so. You will not see colour in it but it is a real thrill to see it live!.

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