Mike's Astro Photos
Jun.11 2011

NGC 6960

by , under Nebula

Here’s an astrophoto of NGC 6960 from a couple of weeks ago. Also known as the Veil Nebula, NGC6960 is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust found in the constellation Cygnus.

The Veil Nebula NGC6960 - May 31st 2011

The Veil Nebula NGC6960 - May 31st 2011

This is the second in a series of test photos that I took during the last new moon phase at the beginning of June. I was testing and improving various aspects of the system. Most of the photos shot during this period were black and white mainly because I was working on other issues at the time, like: tracking/polar alignment, guiding, focusing/image correction, flat/dark calibration and learning new software and techniques. It was a very productive week.

The photo does suffer from a few problems including: imperfect guiding and distorted optics, especially at the corners of the image. This seems to be one of my last major hurdles and requires getting the field flattener set just right. Part of the process of improving the pictures is identifying specific imperfections, understanding why they exist and then acting to formulate solutions to the challenges. Despite these problems, I’m still happy with the image especially since its only the second photo I’ve taken with this new camera system.

Photo Details
5×10 Clear Filter / Total Exposure Time 50 minutes
Camera SBIG ST8300
Guiding with 402 & Piggy back guide scope
Paramount ME Mount
William Optics FLT98
CCDSoft / The Sky X / CCDStack


3 Comments for this entry

  • Mark

    Great picture. Even in black and white, your effort resulted in something that looks almost three dimensional. This new system of yours must be out of this world.

    I notice that it appears that there are a lot more stars to the left side of the veil than on the right side. Is there an astronomical reason for this? Or just a coincidence?

  • Mike

    Mark, I checked a few other pictures of the same object and they seem to be overpopulated on one side as well. I guess that side of the galaxy is a more happening place to be.

  • Mark

    I was wondering if maybe the right side was showing fewer stars because maybe a cloud of dark gas was blocking some of them on that side – and that maybe the veil was a glowing part of a larger, mostly darker cloud???

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