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Image Credit & Copyright: NASA/JPL/Caltech/ Galaxy Evolution Explorer GALEX.
GALEX Explorer page for this ultraviolet wavelength image: http://www.galex.caltech.edu/media/glx2012-01r_img01.html
Sometime in the past, between 5,000 and 8,000 years ago, a massive star at least ten or twenty times the mass of the Sun detonated in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan. This supernova, at a distance of 1,500 light years must have been a spectacular sight and because of the relatively close proximity to us in age and distance this object is huge on our night sky. It stretches three full degrees from end to end and with the Full Moon being a half-degree, this object is six times the diameter of our Moon as we see it on the sky. Observing this object will take some black skies and some massive apertures as it’s very faint. If you’re ever at a star party and you see a nice 18” inch…
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