Cygnus Loop supernova remnant

Cygnus Loop supernova remnant

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Credit: RUSSELL CROMAN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Cygnus Loop supernova remnant, optical image. This is a series of shells of gas cast off by a supernova, the explosive death of a massive star. The loop has an apparent diameter four times the width of the full Moon. The shells of gas impact the interstellar medium at great speeds, compressing it into a plasma and causing the gases to emit light. Light emitted by different ionised gases is colour coded: sulphur is red, hydrogen is green and oxygen is blue. It is thought that the supernova responsible for this remnant occurred between 5-8000 years ago. Its distance is uncertain, but is thought to be between 1400-2600 light years. It lies in the constellation Cygnus.

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Keywords: 2004, astronomical, astronomy, astrophysical, astrophysics, cygnus, cygnus loop, gas, hydrogen, ngc 6960, ngc 6979, ngc 6992, ngc 6995, oxygen, shell, shells, snr, space, star death, stellar, sulfur, sulphur, supernova remnant, telescope, veil nebula

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