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NGC6960 Veil Nebula - Witch's Broom - Halloween Colors

Technical card

Resolution: 8863x2280

Dates: July 10, 2017July 11, 2017July 12, 2017July 13, 2017July 14, 2017July 16, 2017July 17, 2017July 18, 2017July 19, 2017July 20, 2017July 21, 2017July 22, 2017July 25, 2017July 26, 2017July 28, 2017July 29, 2017

Astronomik Ha 12nm 1.25": 127x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik OIII 12nm 1.25": 119x600" -10C bin 1x1
Astronomik SII 12nm 1.25": 123x600" -10C bin 1x1

Integration: 61.5 hours

Darks: ~30

Flats: ~30

Bias: ~100

Avg. Moon age: 17.14 days

Avg. Moon phase: 45.09%

Temperature: 32.00 job: 1672731

RA center: 311.532 degrees

DEC center: 30.637 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.510 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 90.132 degrees

Field radius: 0.648 degrees

Locations: Lighthouse Observatory, Burleson, Texas, United States


The Veil Nebula is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus. It constitutes a large but faint supernova remnant. The supernova exploded circa 3,000 BC to 6,000 BC, and the remnants have since expanded to cover an area roughly 6 times the diameter of the full moon. The distance to the nebula is not precisely known, but data supports a distance of about 1,470 light-years.
The Hubble Space Telescope emissions analysis indicate the presence of oxygen, sulfur, and hydrogen. This is also one of the largest, brightest features in the x-ray sky.
The nebula was discovered on 1784 Sep 5 by William Herschel. He described the western end of the nebula as "Extended; passes thro' 52 Cygni... near 2 degree in length", and described the eastern end as "Branching nebulosity... The following part divides into several streams uniting again towards the south."
When finely resolved, some parts of the image appear to be rope-like filaments. It is thought that the shock waves are so thin, that the shell is visible only when viewed exactly edge-on, giving the appearance of a filament. Undulations in the surface of the shell lead to multiple intertrined filamentary images.
Even though the nebula has a relatively bright integrated magnitude of 7, it is spread over so large an area that the surface brightness is quite low. However, an observer can see the nebula clearly in a telescope using an OIII filter, as almost all light from this nebula is emitted at this wavelength. [Reference: Wikipedia].

The image was captured with the new Celestron CGE Pro mount and the venerable Meade 12"LX200 SCT, using my Atik 383L+ mono at F7.16 (i.e. 2182mm FL). Astronomik's Ha, OIII and SII narrow band filters were used. All subs were taken at 1x1 bin, and -10C and 10 minutes each.

Image information -- 2017
panel 1: 30 subs (5.00 hr) Jul 10th, 11th,12th, 26th and 28th.
panel 2: 32 subs (5.33 hr) Jul 10th, 11th, 12th and 21st.
panel 3: 31 subs (5.17 hr) Jul 11th, 12th and 21st.
panel 4: 33 subs (5.5 hr) Jul 11th, 13th, 22nd and 25th.

panel 1: 29 subs (4.83 hr) Jul 13th, 18th and 28th.
panel 2: 30 subs (5.00 hr) Jul 13th, 16th, 17th and 22nd.
panel 3: 31 subs (5.17 hr) Jul 14th, 19th and 22nd.
panel 4: 29 subs (4.83 hr) Jul 13th, 17th and 25th .

panel 1: 31 subs (5.17 hr) Jul 18th, 20th, 28th and 29th.
panel 2: 30 subs (5.00 hr) Jul 19th, 20th and 25th.
panel 3: 30 subs (5.00 hr) Jul 19th, 20th and 22nd.
panel 4: 42 subs (7.00 hr) Jul 19th, 20th, 25th, 26th, 28th and 29th.

Color Mix is per the following palette (OHS):
Ha = Green
O3 = Red
S2 = Blue
Processing was done with PixInsight, following some of kayronjm's tutorial of Feb. 24th, 2013. Each panel and filter set of subs were processed with integration, crop and ABE background extraction. A four (4) panel mosaic was then created from these images for each of the filters (Ha, O3 and S2). The three mosaics were combined using PI's Pixel Math operation with the colors chosen as shown above. This final image was further processed in PI, bringing it to the level presented.

This mosaic was anything but easy to produce.

The automation software SGPro managed the collection of the large number of 10 minute subs (369). The processing software PixInsight was used to merge the four panels together and produce the finished image.
North is to the right (I think), and this is a small crop due to inevitable sub movement from night to night.




Sky plot

Sky plot


NGC6960  Veil Nebula - Witch's Broom - Halloween Colors, niteman1946