Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti

NGC 6992/6995 - Entire Veil Nebula Network




Only in the furnace of a supernova explosion can the heavy elements like calcium, gold, silver, copper, iodine, and lead be forged.  Without these and other elements life on Earth would never exist.  Thus, we owe our very existence to the sacrifice of the supergiant stars that burn so brightly and briefly.  The Veil Nebula is a large 8,000 - 10,000 year old supernova remnant in the constellation Cygnus. Even though it is large (covering about 3x3 degrees) it has an overall visual magnitude of about 7.  The intertwined rope-like filaments of gas in the Veil Nebula result from the enormous amounts of energy released as the fast-moving debris from the explosion that plows into its surroundings and creates shock fronts. These shocks, driven by debris moving at 600,000 kilometers per hour, heat the gas to millions of degrees. It is the subsequent cooling of this material that produces the brilliantly colored glows.

It was discovered in 1784 by William Herschel and he described it as "Branching nebulosity...". In this image, the far right portion is the Western Veil, NGC 6960 or Witch's Broom. The triangular structure to the top center is NGC 6979 or Pickering's (or Fleming's) Triangular Wisp.   On the left is the Eastern Veil or NGC 6992/6995. The Veil nebula resides nearly overhead in the rich star field of the Milky Way during the evenings of late summer and early Fall.  



  • Date & Location:  August 31, 2011 - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  Calm wind - 60F.

  • Sky Conditions:  Somewhat hazy with average transparency. 

  • Optics:  TeleVue TV60is  Refractor with field flattener f6.0

  • Filter:  Astronomic  EOS clip-in CLS-CCD (Light Pollution Suppression)

  • Mount:  AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  None - PEC active

  • Camera:  Canon T1i (500D) Hap Griffin Modified - Baader UV/IR

  • Exposure:  81 min (2 x 10 min, 7 x 8 min, 1 x 5 min ) @ ISO 1600, RAW

  • Calibration Frames:  12 Darks & 9 Bias frames

  • Processing:  Images Plus 3.82b, Photoshop CS4, Noise Ninja, NIK, GradientX Term.

  • Comments:  As usual a longer total exposure  time along with better transparency would  bring out more fine details, but overall I am pleased with the results of this "wide-field" image. 


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors