Witch's Broom Nebula: The Witch's Broom Nebula is also part of the famous Veil Nebula complex, this being the western portion. The entire complex is the remnant of a powerful supernova explosion which occurred thousands of years ago, sending elements forged in the destroyed stars core into space. The bright star is 52 Cygni.
Finnish astrophotographer J-P Metsävainio observed IC 1396, making a gorgeous image of it. But he wasn’t satisfied just doing that. He’d been playing with making 3D images for some time, and decided this might be a good opportunity to make a model of the structure of the nebula, and then create an animated GIF of it.
A nebula is an interstellar cloud of dust, hydrogen, helium and other ionized gases. Originally, nebula was a name for any diffuse astronomical object, including galaxies beyond the Milky Way. The Andromeda Galaxy, for instance, was referred to as the Andromeda Nebula before the true nature of galaxies was confirmed in the early 20th century by Vesto Slipher, Edwin Hubble, et al. Nebulae are often star-forming regions, such as in the Eagle Nebula.