noao0801 — Photo Release

Double-Wide Image of Pickering’s Triangle Shows Vast Beauty of the Cygnus Loop

8 January 2008

A new wide-field image of Pickering’s Triangle taken with the National Science Foundation’s Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory is being released today in Austin, Texas, at the 211th meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

Pickering’s Triangle is part of the Cygnus Loop supernova remnant, which includes the famous Veil Nebula. It is located about 1,500 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Cygnus, the Swan. Astronomers estimate that the supernova explosion that produced the nebula occurred between 5,000 to 10,000 years ago; the entire shell stretches more than six full Moons in width across the sky.

This new image was obtained in September 2007 by Travis Rector and Heidi Schweiker by combining two full pointings of the 64-megapixel NOAO Mosaic-1 imager mounted on the historic Mayall telescope.


Image credit: T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker and NOAO/AURA/NSF

Located 55 miles southwest of Tucson, Arizona, Kitt Peak National Observatory is part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. NOAO, headquartered in Tucson, is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under a cooperative agreement with the NSF.



Douglas Isbell
Office of Public Affairs and Educational OutreachNational Optical Astronomy Observatory
Tel: 520/318-8230

About the Release

Release No.:noao0801
Legacy ID:NOAO 08-01
Name:Cygnus Loop
Facility:Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope
Instruments:Mosaic I


Double-Wide Image of Pickering's Triangle
Double-Wide Image of Pickering's Triangle