Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors

Astrophotography Brian A. Morganti


NGC 6960 Western Loop of Veil Nebula

The Witch's Broom




About 10,000 years ago, a supergiant star in the constellation Cygnus exploded as a supernova.  Despite its distance of about 2,500 light-years, the supernova may have shown as bright as the moon for weeks, but no records of its observation have been discovered.  The gas expelled by this explosion has been expanding as a giant bubble, now colliding with hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur gases that were previously shed by the dying star.  The collision creates a shock front, exciting the gases similar to an emission nebula with red hydrogen and teal oxygen. 


  • Date & Location:  August 28 & 29th, 2011  - Bernville, PA

  • Weather:  60F & 53F with light winds on both nights

  • Sky Conditions:  Clear with above average transparency on 28th, average 29th.

  • Optics:  TeleVue NP101is Refractor w/1.5x extender  =  810mm @ f8.1

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

  • Mount:  AP900GTO

  • Guiding:  Tracked, PEC active, no auto guiding. 

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

  • Exposure:  28th = 55min iso 1600 / 19th = 148 min iso 1600 (Total 3 hours 23 min)

  • Calibration Frames:  16 Darks & 9 Bias frames

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

  • Comments:   Photographed on both nights just as the Veil Nebula had crossed the meridian so as to avoid a meridian flip.  Maximum exposure was 15 min, but most averaged 10 minutes each.


Astrophotography  -  Nightscapes & Deep Sky Colors