If you’re a Star Trek fan, you might think the image above depicts the movie’s “Nexus”. Star Trek: Generation. In the film, the Nexus was a ribbon-like hyperdimensional realm that existed outside of ordinary space and time.
But this is actually a venerable Hubble Space Telescope, Of Cygnus Loop. Taken from space, this stunning photo shows only a fraction of the remaining blast waves from the supernova that occurred at our vantage point in the northern constellation Cygnus.
The first supernova explosion exploded a dying star about 2,600 light-years away. This star is about 20 times heavier than our sun, and the explosion would have occurred 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. Since then, the rest has extended 60 light years from the center.
The shockwave marks the outer edge of the supernova remnant and continues to expand at an incredible speed of about 350 km per second. The interaction of the emitted material with the low-density interstellar material swept away by the shock wave forms the unique veil-like structure seen in this image.
In the Star Trek story, if you were inside a Nexus, you were in a perfect and ideal world. Looking at amazing images like this one makes you think that something like that could be possible.
Here’s another previous Hubble image of the 1991 Swan Ring supernova remnant. Below that is an image of the famous Veil Nebula inside the remnant of the larger Swan supernova.
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