NGC 6960 which is commonly known as the Veil Nebula or The Witch’s Broom is the western half of the Cygnus Loop. This is a large supernova remnant in the constellation of Cygnus. The supernova is from a star that is about 20 times larger than Sun. It’s estimated to have explored around 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. The Nebula is massive covering about 36 times the apparent area of the moon in the night sky. NGC6960 is about 2400 light-years away.
Analysis from the Hubble shows that the nebula has largely made up of Oxygen, Sulfur, and Hydrogen. The nebula also has other names like Finger of God, Lacework Nebula, or Filamentary Nebula.
It was almost a full moon and so bright. I had an Optolong l-eNhance 2" filter which helped cut the moon light. This tri-band narrowband filter worked like magic. When clear nights are so few and far in between, you have to use every opportunity to capture a target.Processing Info
I originally had 45 frames at 300 sec each. I put them through the Blink tool in PixInsight and had to throw away one frame due to a dreaded satellite. Then the Subframe Selector Tool showed about six other frames with bloated stars with a high FWHM average. Most of them were due to haze and a sliver of clouds that came through during the night.
I stacked the 38 light frames along with 40 dark and flat frames.
The following processes were performed in PixInsight:
- Dynamic Crop
- Dynamic Background Extraction
- Automatic Background Extraction
- Background Neutralization
- Photometric Color Calibration
- Histogram Transformation
- Curves Transformation
- HDR Multiscale Transformation
- ACDNR (Noise Reduction)
Once I found what I liked, I saved the files and went to Photoshop and ran Topaz AI DeNoise. This is an amazing plugin that works like magic.
Something is going on with either my back focus or tilt. The right side of the image has some stretched out stars which I’ll have to fix for the next time.
If anyone is curious here are the full res versions of the images.
Here you can see the area of the sky in Cygnus imaged.
- Telescope: Explore Scientific ED127 Air-Spaced Triplet Apochromatic Refractor
- Camera: ASI071MC Pro
- Guide Scope: Orion ST80
- Guide Camera: ASI290MM Mini. Dithering every image at 1 pixel each time.
- Mount: iOptron CEM60
- Software: PixInsight used for stacking and editing.
- Other Accessories: AstroZap Dew Heater, Explore Scientific 2" Field Flattner, ZWO ASIAIR, ZWO EAF Motorized Focuser.
- Filters: Optolong L-eNhance 2"
- Exposure Time: 3 hours 10 minutes (38 X 300 seconds). Gain 90, -10°C bin 1x1
- Exposure Start: 00:05
- Date: June 09, 2020
- Location: Voorhees State Park, NJ, United States
- GPS Coordinates: Lat. 40.68187, Long. -74.89797
- Temperature: 59°F/15°C
- Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 4
- Astrometry.net job: 3591088
- Avg. Moon age: 17.63 Days
- Avg. Moon phase: 91.01%
- RA center: 20h 45' 33"
- DEC center: +30° 43' 33"
- Orientation: 95.920 degrees
- Field radius: 0.820 degrees
- Magnitude: 7.0
- Resolution: 4767 x 3131