Explore NGC6960 The Veil Nebula



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:

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.

The area of the sky in Cygnus
Here you can see the area of the sky in Cygnus imaged.

Acquisition Data