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Rod Pommier

Location of Photo:

Pommier Observatory, Portland, OR, USA.

Date/Time of photo:

2023-08-03 through 2023-09-08


PlaneWave CDK17 on L500 mount, SBIG STL 11000 CCD camera with Baader Planetarium H-alpha, R, G, and B filters


NGC 6960, the Witch's Broom Nebula, also known as the Western Veil Nebula or Sharpless 103, is the remnant from a supernova which occurred about 10,000 years ago. It is the counterpart to the Eastern Veil Nebula, NGC 6992. Its amazing filamentary structure is thought to be due to compression of expanding shells of gas as they meet the resistance of the interstellar medium. However, the shells are so thin that, with few exceptions, we see them only where viewed exactly edge-on. The fact that much of what we see as "empty" space is filled with dark dust is evidenced by the fact that more background stars are visible below the nebula than above it. This is because the shock wave has swept the area below the nebula clear of the dust, allowing more background stars to shine through. The bright star, 52 Cygni, is a type K star and is actually a foreground object with no physically association with the nebula.