Saturday, November 1, 2008
Ok, in an effort to broaden this feature, since distinctive pictures of galaxies aren't an infinite resource, I'm rechristening (and retiming) it as Saturnebula. Yeah, it's a slightly goofy construction, but it's distinctive, and it's probably easier to post on Saturdays anyway - plenty of Friday Galactic Blogs went up on Saturdays in any case. I'll be pretty broad in my definition of "nebula," to encompass any cool galactic photos I find, consistently with older definitions like that of Messier.
This particular beauty is a depiction of the Veil Nebula, the leftovers from a supernova in the direction of the constellation Cygnus at an approximate distance between 1400 and 2600 light years. It spans three degrees in the night sky (six times the apparent size of a full moon) but is notoriously difficult to see in visible light, despite an apparent magnitude of about seven, which nearly as bright as the dimmest naked eye stars (corresponding to an apparent magnitude of about six.)
It's an APOD image, and you know the drill.