NGC-6960

The Witch’s Broom (NGC 6960) is a prominent part of the Veil Nebula in the constellation Cygnus–about 1400 lightyears away.  (This is what I was doing last night). Veil is a vast remnant of supernova–and by vast I mean the entire Veil Nebula covers the same area in our sky as about 36 full moons. The problem is it’s very faint, and not really observable without a telescope and camera–or X-ray astronomy, if you’re into that sort of thing. Some notes on this particular stack: I’m still experimenting with short-exposure/high-volumes, 542 3-second exposures and 101 dark frames stacked in DSS, no filters, William Optics GT-81, WO .8x Field Flattener/Reducer, Atik 414EX Monochrome CCD camera (cooled), Orion Atlas mount–no guiding, just pretty accurate polar alignment. Stretching and post processing in PS (I had to darken the star field because it was overpowering the nebula in this one! Damn there are a lot of stars in this universe.)  http://SaltwaterWitch.com/astronomy

Edward Emerson Barnard, Nebulae (NGC 6960, NGC 6992), a supernova remnant in the constellation Cygnus. Large meteor trail included. Photographed with the Bruce 10-inch photographic telescope of Yerkes Observatory, 16-07-1909.

Astronomy Picture of the Day: January 1st, 2003

Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light must suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was an exploding star and record the colorful expanding cloud as the Veil Nebula. Pictured above is the west end of the Veil Nebula known technically as NGC 6960 but less formally as the Witch’s Broom Nebula. The rampaging gas gains its colors by impacting and exciting existing nearby gas. The supernova remnant lies about 1400 light-years away towards the constellation of Cygnus. This Witch’s Broom actually spans over three times the angular size of the full Moon. The bright blue star 52 Cygnus is visible with the unaided eye from a dark location but unrelated to the ancient supernova.

Credit: Loke Kun Tan (StarryScapes)

NGC 6960: The Witch’s Broom Nebula - Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light must suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was an exploding star and record the colorful expanding cloud as the Veil Nebula. Pictured above is the west end of the Veil Nebula known technically as NGC 6960 but less formally as the Witch’s Broom Nebula. The rampaging gas gains its colors by impacting and exciting existing nearby gas. The supernova remnant lies about 1400 light-years away towards the constellation of Cygnus. This Witch’s Broom actually spans over three times the angular size of the full Moon. The bright star 52 Cygnus is visible with the unaided eye from a dark location but unrelated to the ancient supernova. (via APOD)

NGC 6960: The Witch’s Broom Nebula 

Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mount Lemmon SkyCenter, Univ. Arizona

Explanation: Ten thousand years ago, before the dawn of recorded human history, a new light must suddenly have appeared in the night sky and faded after a few weeks. Today we know this light was an exploding star and record the colorful expanding cloud as the Veil Nebula. Pictured above is the west end of the Veil Nebula known technically as NGC 6960 but less formally as the Witch’s Broom Nebula. The expanding debris cloud gains its colors by sweeping up and exciting existing nearby gas. The supernova remnant lies about 1400 light-years away towards the constellation of Cygnus. This Witch’s Broom actually spans over three times the angular size of the full Moon. The bright star 52 Cygni is visible with the unaided eye from a dark location but unrelated to the ancient supernova.