Witch’s Broom Nebula

Witch’s Broom Nebula

NGC 6960, Caldwell 34

Constellation: Cygnus
Ra: 20h 46m 9s
Dec: +30d 45m 38s
Distance: 1,400 - 2,500 light years
Image Size: 42' x 42'
North: Upper left



The Witch’s Broom is the western component of the Veil supernova remnant; a huge 3 degree diameter shell that is the remains of an expanding supernova that exploded 5,000 to 10,000 years ago. It was mostly like seen from Earth, being only 1,400 to 2,500 light years distant. The bright star that plays havoc with long exposure images is 51 Cygni. This is a popular visual target when used with visual OIII filters. It is a fascinating target for CCD astrophotography due to the myriad of fine OIII- and H-a-rich intertwinning filaments. There is a wonderful video simulation of the supernova explosion leading to the placment of the remaining visible segments, that also include Pickering’s Triangle(NGC 6979) and the Eastern Veil (NGC 6992) at:
This image was taken with 3 nm Astrodon OIII and H-a filters to enhance the contrast of the filamentary structure, but to provide "natural" color. Short RGB data were added for star color. Data were taken in our suburban backyard under mag 4.5 skies with the moon up for the narrowband data and RGB before the moon came up.

Exposure: 5.5 hrs Total; 2 hrs OIII, 2.5 hrs H-a, 1 hr RGB
Telescope: PlaneWave 17" CDK truss
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount ME
Oag: Astrodon MonsterMOAG
Acquisition: CCD AutoPilot4
Calibration: CCDStack2
Observatory Site: Sacramento, CA (backyard)
Camera: Apogee U16M D9F
Filters: Astrodon 3nm OIII, H-a, Gen 2 RGB
Guider: Starlight Express LodeStar
Camera Operation: MaximDL4.62
Processing: Photoshop CS5 Extended
Image Date: 07/02/2010

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