NGC 6960 is a supernova remnant. The source supernova is believed to have exploded between 5000 and 8000 years ago. It is the western part of the Veil Nebula in the constellation, Cygnus the swan. This filamentry nebula is also known as the “Witch’s Broom” due to it’s striking resemblance of such. This portion of the Veil Nebula appears to pass through the bright 4th magnitude binary star, 52 Cygni, but in actuality the nebula is behind the star; the two separated by some distance. The nebula was discovered on 1784 September 5 by William Herschel.

NGC 6960 Th Witch's Broom. Shawn Nieslen 2014

View high resolution image here

I took this image in early July 2014 from my home in Kitchener, Ontario. This image was taken using filters designed to isolate and collect H-alpha and Oxygen III light wavelengths. These two filters are also used in some Hubble Space Telescope images, and referred to as the “hubble pallet”. The hubble pallet is comprised of Ha, OIII and S2 (Sulphur 2) filters. The combination of these filters highlight specific processes within a nebula and also give the images their unique colour look.


William Optics Zenithstar 71mm ED APO refractor with Flat6 .8x reducer/flattener

SBIG 8300M CCD and FLI filter wheel. Using Ha and OIII filters

Skywatcher EQ6 mount

Nebulosity for acquisition and PHD/Orion Starshoot for guiding.

80min Ha and 120min of OIII. 3hrs 20min total.



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