This Friday, NASA released an image of a small section of the Cygnus supernova blast wave captured by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. In the image, the supernova appears as delicate and light veil draped across the sky.
The supernova lies about 2,400 light-years away from Earth, and the name of its remnant comes from its position in the northern constellation of Cygnus (the Swan), where it covers an area 36 times larger than the full Moon.
What’s more, the remnant of the massive explosion has “expanded 60 light-years from its center” in the centuries that have passed since then. The shockwave marks the supernova remnant’s outer edge and continues to expand at around 220 miles per second.
The image features the bright wave cutting through the dark space that is otherwise illuminated with multiple stars.
Astronomers noted, “The interaction of the ejected material and the low-density interstellar material swept up by the shockwave forms the distinctive veil-like structure seen in this image.”