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NGC 6992, 6995 and IC 1340 - the eastern segment of the Veil Nebula

Object description:

The Veil Nebula is the perfect example of a supernova remnant and has an apparent diameter of 3 degrees in the sky. Our image shows the eastern main segment, consisting of NGC 6992, 6995 and IC 1340.

The gas ejected by the supernova explosion expands and spreads out almost spherically at about 180 kilometres per second, or nearly 600 000 kilometres per hour. In the process, it collides with the surrounding interstellar medium, heating up to several million degrees and forming a structure of luminous filaments and nebulae.

Depending on the chemical elements present in the remnants of the stellar explosion, the gas is ionised and begins to glow. In the case of the Veil Nebula, the elements hydrogen, nitrogen and sulphur glow in red hues and the triply ionised oxygen in blue-green/turquoise hues.
The brightest parts of the nebula were discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in 1784. The southernmost part of NGC 6992 is catalogued as NGC 6995 and was discovered in 1825 by John Herschel, Herschel's son, using his father's telescope. The fainter parts of the nebula were discovered later - in 1866 and 1873 - by the American astronomer Truman Henry Safford (IC 1340) and by Lawrence Parsons, the 4th Earl of Rosse (NGC 6974).

According to estimates, the supernova that formed the Veil Nebula should have reached full moon brightness for several weeks and thus should have been visible in the daytime sky. However, prehistoric observations or descriptions are not known.

« Click here or the thumbnail to load a large annoted image and a size comparison to the full moon.

A mosaic of NGC 6992 and NGC 6960 - the eastern and western parts of the Cirrus Nebula - we show here. There you will also find detailed information about the Cirrus Nebula in its entirety. Large images of 1800 x 1100 Pixel and 3500 x 2100 Pixel of the Moaik are shown here.

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All Images und all Content are © by Franz Hofmann + Wolfgang Paech