| This near-infrared image was taken in the narrow-band emission line
[Fe II] 1.64 microns, i.e. an iron emission line in the near-infrared part of
the spectrum. A coronagraph (a piece of metal to block out light
from the central star) was used because P Cygni is a lot brighter than its
circumstellar nebula. To make the picture, we rotated the camera to three
different position angles and averaged them. The funny-looking lines are
artifacts from the presence of the coronagraph as an empty space in the
This nebula was ejected from the star in an eruption that was probably in 1600.