NGC 6960, the Veil Nebula (west portion)   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

Supernova remnant in Cygnus

The Veil Nebula has several parts that spread out over an area about 3 degrees wide. Together, these tenuous ribbons of gas are what is left of a supernova that exploded about 10,000 years ago. This photo shows one of its two main parts.

Though very large, the Veil Nebula is also very faint, and for a long time it was considered a challenging object to observe through a telescope. That notion has changed now that telescopes have gotten larger and amateur astronomers have become more skillful at tracking down elusive objects. Through my 18-inch telescope (especially with an OIII filter that enhances the brightness of the nebula compared to the night sky), the Veil Nebula is an amazing sight. On many summer nights, I have spent a long time tracing is delicate tendrils through the starry background. It is one of my favorite targets from a dark observing site.

Image details: Mosaic of two images (based on 16 and 18 exposures, respectively, of 150 seconds at ISO 1600) taken with a Canon 400D camera through a Meade 12” telescope at f/5.4.

November 2009