NGC6992 Veil Nebula (eastern portion); Cygnus
Astro Systeme Austria N12 f/3.5 astrograph
Total Exposure 5.8+ Hours; HaRGB 140:70:70:70 minutes; unbinned
July 2007; Inkom, ID
Comments: After 5,000 years, the gorgeous Veil Nebula is still turning heads. Cataloged as NGC 6992, these glowing filaments of interstellar shocked gas are part of a larger spherical supernova remnant known as the Cygnus Loop or the Veil Nebula -- expanding debris from a star which exploded over 5,000 years ago. This color digital image of a bit of the Veil has been processed and enhanced to reveal stunning details in the diaphanous cosmic cloud. Seen from our perspective against a rich Milky Way star field, the Veil Nebula is now known to lie some 1,400 light-years away toward the constellation Cygnus. At that distance, witnesses to the original stellar explosion would have seen a star in the heavens increase in brightness to about -8 magnitude, roughly corresponding to the brightness of the crescent Moon (comment source: NASA APOD 2005). A hydrogen-alpha version may be seen here.