August 2016 - Picture of the Month
The Veil Nebula
This image was provided courtesy of Sara Wager. Please visit her website for much detail about the image and a far better version.
Nights are getting darker at northern latitudes, astronomical darkness has returned to the UK, and Cygnus is overhead. I have a bit of a mission at this time of year: to explore the Veil Nebula.
I've heard that its visible with the naked eye with the help of a good O-III narrowband filter from really dark skies, but it certainly isn't from any sky I've experienced.
There aren't all that many supernova remnants accessible to my small scopes which makes the Veil a bit of a seasonal treat. Especially since the whole complex favours a short focal length due to its huge size. However, the individual NGC objects can be explored in detail with a bigger aperture. So the Veil has something for everyone.
I love the visual challenge of trying to pull detail from the background glow, but as Sara has shown with this wonderful wide-field mosaic, it responds really well the narrowband imaging. Her web page highlights the Eastern and Western Veil where I've had visual success… albeit somewhat less well defined.
James Whinfrey - Website Administrator.