D. Heilman Astrophotography

NGC6990 - Eastern Veil Nebula

Discovered by William Herschel in 1784, the Veil is a remnant of a colossal supernova explosion that occurred approximately 5,000 - 8,000 years ago leaving delicate wisps of gas in a roughly spherical pattern in the constellation Cygnus.  The filamentous nature of the gas patterns is attributed to the ultra-thin shockwaves of the explosion, which result in a visible shell only when viewed precisely edge-on.  The eastern arm of the nebula shown in this image exemplifies the red hydrogen and blue oxygen lace work typical of these remnants.