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image veil-500mm-r5-rnclark-c09.05.2021-4C3A9975-84-av9.j-1950ws.jpg is Copyrighted by Roger N. Clark, www.clarkvision.com

Veil Nebula in Cygnus

The Veil nebula is a supernova remnant estimated to be 10,000 to 20,000 years old. The nebula is a beautiful sight in larger amateur telescopes (6-inch aperture and larger). Visually, it looks like smoke hanging in air and the larger the telescope, the more of the thin narrow strands of nebulae can be resolved. The image is natural color. The pink/magenta is emission from hydrogen, and the teal is emission from oxygen. Star color is close to what we would see with our eyes in telescopes: solar type stars are white, cooler stars yellow to orange and red, and stars hotter than our Sun are bluish-white.

The nebula on the left is the East Veil nebula, NGC 6992, and on the right is the West Veil nebula, NGC 6960 by the bright star 52 Cygnus. To the left of the West Veil nebula is reddish-orange interstellar dust.

Technical. This image was made with a stock Canon R5 (mirrorless) camera with a Canon 500 mm f/4 L IS telephoto lens. Total exposure time was 22.5 minutes (nine 150-second exposures) at ISO 1600. This is a natural color image. Post processing: raw conversion with Photoshop ACR (normally I would use rawtherapee, but the color matrix correction in rawtherapee did not do well with the teal oxygen emission and made it too blue), stacking with deep sky stacker, Stretched with rnc-color-stretch, and final adjustments in photoshop. No darks, no flats, no bias frames (flat field is in the ACR lens profile and corrected during raw conversion). The exposures were tracked on a Losmandy G11 equatorial mount with an autoguider. Mean RMS tracking accuracy was around 0.5 arc-second, but some wind shook the camera occasionally making the stars slightly oval, seen in the full resolution image.

Original plate scale is 1.81 arc-seconds/pixel and this image is shown at 1/4 resolution 7.2 arc-seconds/pixel.

This is a natural color image.

The Exposure Factors, CEF, CEFA are measures of the relative amounts of light received from a subject. It can be used to fairly compare wildly different lens/telescope apertures and exposure times. For this image on the sky:

Modern digital cameras like the Canon R5 include on sensor dark current suppression technology and low fixed pattern noise at ISOs around 800 and higher, making no need for dark frame subtraction. Modern raw converters correct for light fall-off and also correct for hot/dead/stuck pixels. This makes processing low light images easy: simply align and average.

Also see Astrophotography Image Processing Basic Work Flow.


To learn how to obtain stunning images like this, please visit my Extensive Articles on Photography .


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Image ID: veil-500mm-r5-rnclark-c09.05.2021-4C3A9975-84-av9.j-1950ws.jpg

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Last updated September 10, 2021