Nebulae - Barry Wilson
NGC6960 The Witch's Broom and Pickering's Triangle

NGC6960 The Witch's Broom and Pickering's Triangle

These two nebula form part of the The Veil Nebula Complex, a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus. It constitutes the visible portions of the Cygnus Loop (radio source W78, or Sharpless 103), a large but relatively faint supernova remnant. The source supernova exploded circa 3,000 BC to 6,000 BC, and the remnants have since expanded to cover an area roughly 3 degrees in diameter (about 6 times the diameter, or 36 times the area, of the full moon). The distance to the nebula is not precisely known, but Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) data supports a distance of about 1,470 light-years.

In modern usage, the names Veil Nebula, Cirrus Nebula, and Filamentary Nebula generally refer to all the visible structure of the remnant, or even to the entire loop itself. The structure is so large that several NGC numbers were assigned to various arcs of the nebula.

There are three main visual components:
1. The Western Veil (also known as Caldwell 34), consisting of NGC 6960 (the "Witch's Broom", "Finger of God",[7] or "Filamentary Nebula"[7]) near the foreground star 52 Cygni;
2. The Eastern Veil (also known as Caldwell 33), whose brightest area is NGC 6992, trailing off farther south into NGC 6995 (together with NGC 6992 also known as "Network Nebula"[8]) and IC 1340; and
3. Pickering's Triangle (or Pickering's Triangular Wisp), brightest at the north central edge of the loop, but visible in photographs continuing toward the central area of the loop.

NGC 6974 and NGC 6979 are luminous knots in a fainter patch of nebulosity on the northern rim between NGC 6992 and Pickering's Triangle.

This bi-colour Narrow Band image comprises 12 x 1200s Ha subs and 9 x 1200s OIII subs, totalling 7 hrs of integration. The data channels are combined in the format HOO and the strong blue-coloured OIII signal is very striking in contrast with the red-coloured Ha signal. Taken using a Takahashi FSQ85EDX at F3.9. Mount 10 Micron GM1000HPS; all subs are unguided; QSI 683-wsg and Astrodon 5nm NB filters; Data captured through July and August 2016.