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News Release 10 of 169

September 24, 2015 10:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2015-29

Hubble Zooms in on Shrapnel from an Exploded Star

A Hubble Heritage Release

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 .

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Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)