Overview: Veil Nebula

of "Lithograph: Veil Nebula"
Go to resourceVeil Nebula litho thumbnail view
Lithograph: Veil Nebula (PDF)
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This image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a small section of the Veil Nebula, the expanding remnant of a supernova that exploded between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago in our Milky Way galaxy. The Hubble view shows a region roughly 2 light-years in diameter, encompassing less than 1 percent of the entire nebula. The nebula is not debris from the explosion itself, but the result of energy from the explosion's shock wave hitting the interstellar material, heating it, and causing it to glow as it cools. The lithograph package includes an inquiry-based classroom activity.
Format(s) available: PDF
Grades: 10-12, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion.
How to use it in the classroom

Teachers can use "Lithograph: Veil Nebula" as:

An example of the evolution of galaxies. Use the inquiry-based classroom activity "In Search of Supernovae" that is included with the PDF lithograph..

An engagement tool in an inquiry-based lesson. Have students study the Veil Nebula image on the front of the lithograph. Ask them to write down as many questions as they can about the image. When the students are finished, their questions can be used in a variety of ways:

• Ask students to find the answers to their questions by reading the back of the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

• Have students exchange papers so that each student has someone else's questions. Then have them find the answers to their partner's questions by reading the back of the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

• Gather the questions into a list by asking students to volunteer to read their questions while you or another student records them on the board or on an overhead projector transparency. Ask students to raise their hands if they have the same or a similar question. Count the number of hands raised and record this number next to the question. Once all the students' questions have been added to the list, have students search for the answers to their questions in the text on the back of the lithograph. When they complete that task, ask them to decide if each of their questions was answered completely, answered partially, or not answered at all. Go through the original list and place an "A" in front of the questions that were answered completely, a "P" for those that were partially answered, and an "N" for those that were not answered at all. Determine if the most commonly asked questions were also answered completely. Encourage students to do further research to find answers to the unanswered questions.

A content reading tool. Have students read the back of the lithograph and then write a quiz for the class.

Related materials

HubbleSite 2015 press release for Veil Nebula:

HubbleSite press release: "Uncovering the Veil Nebula":

HubbleSite press release: "Hubble's Close-Up View of a Shock Wave from a Stellar Explosion":

HubbleSite press release: "Hubble Reveals New Details in a Supernova's Blast Wave":

HubbleSite: News releases related to supernova remnants:

See the Stars and stellar evolution section on "Teaching tools" page.

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Overview: Veil Nebula