Popular Astronomy

June 2015

A short report this month;  one section member sent in three images. 

Ian Papworth imaged NGC6960, the "Witches Broom" part of the Veil supernova remnant in the constellation of Cygnus.  The whole remnant has expanded over the past 5000 -8000 years since the supernova took place to appear about 3 degrees in angular diameter;  about 6 times the apparent size of the full moon.  The distance of the Veil is thought to be about 1500 light years from the Earth.

The portion of the Veil in Ian's image is also known as the Western Veil or Caldwell 34.  Two more main visual components are the Eastern Veil, or Caldwell 33, and Pickering's Triangle, at the North of the loop. 

Visually, an OIII filter is recommended, as the light emitted by the Veil is predominantly of this wavelength.                                                          

                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Ian's other images are both of globular clusters:  M13 in the constellation of Hercules (below left) and M5 in Serpens.  M13 was discovered by Edmund Halley in 1714, M5 by Gottfried Kirch in 1702.  Charles Messier added both to his catalogue in 1764.  M5 is slightly more distant than M13 and appears almost a magnitude fainter at + 6.6.  It is however considered to be the larger of the two:  165 light years across against 145 light years for M13.

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