The Cygnus Loop Nebula


20,000 years ago there was a supernova explosion in the constellation of Cygnus. Its shockwave is still expanding into interstellar space. The impact of the fast moving wall of gas on a stationary cloud has heated it causing it to glow with visible light as well as high energy radiation. The result is the nebula known as the Cygnus Loop (NGC 6960/95). The colors in this Hubble Space Telescope image indicate emission from different kinds of atoms excited by the shock: oxygen-blue, sulfur-red, and hydrogen-green.

There’s a picture of the Cygnus Loop in UV here.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

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