The Veil Nebula is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus. It constitutes the visible portions of the Cygnus Loop, a large but relatively faint supernova remnant. This supernova exploded about 5,000 to 8,000 years ago, and the remnants have since expanded to cover an area roughly 3 degrees in diameter (about 6 times the diameter, or 36 times the area, of the full moon). Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) data supports the distance to the nebula is about 1,470 light-years.
The nebula was discovered on 1784 September 5 by William Herschel He described the western end of the nebula as “Extended; passes thro’ 52 Cygni… near 2 degree in length”, and described the eastern end as “Branching nebulosity… The following part divides into several streams uniting again towards the south.”
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