Date: August 4th & 19th 2023

Exposure: 74 x 5 minutes (6h 10min)

About This Image


Telescope: Stellarvue SVX130T-R
Mount: Software Bisque Paramount MX
Camera: Player One Poseidon-C Pro
Filter: Optolong L-Ultimate 2"
Accessories: 3.5" Feathertouch • Stellarvue SFFR
Guiding: SVBony SV165 Mini Guide Scope • ASI462MC
Software: Photoshop • PixInsight • TheSkyX • Starkeeper Voyager


The Witch's Broom Nebula (aka "Western Veil Nebula") is a segment of the Veil Nebula that is cataloged as NGC 6960. It is less formally known as the Witch's Broom due to its shape, which resembles the sweeping end of a broomstick.(1) This segment of the Veil Nebula is the result of a supernova explosion that occurred about 10,000 years ago. The explosion released a tremendous amount of energy, creating a shockwave that caused the outer layers of the star to be expelled into space. The remnants of this explosion now form a beautiful and intricate network of filaments and wisps of gas, stretching across a vast area of the sky. The Witch's Broom Nebula is a popular target for astrophotographers due to its intricate structure and stunning visual appearance.

NGC9660 is a captivating object for both amateur and professional astronomers alike. By studying the Witch's Broom Nebula, astronomers can gain a better understanding of how massive stars end their lives and how they enrich the surrounding interstellar medium with heavy elements. The intricate filaments and shockwaves within the nebula provide clues about the physical processes involved in supernova explosions and the subsequent dispersal of stellar material. Additionally, the Witch's Broom Nebula serves as a laboratory for studying the interaction between the expanding shockwave and the surrounding interstellar gas, shedding light on the dynamics of interstellar medium and the formation of new stars. Its intricate structure and scientific significance make the Witch's Broom Nebula a fascinating and important object for astronomical research.(2)


  • (1) "NGC 6960: The Witch's Broom Nebula | Science Mission Directorate" -
  • (2) "Western Veil Nebula" -
  • (3) "NGC 6960, The Western Veil or Witch's Broom Nebula | Rod Pommier - Sky & Telescope" -

Distance: 2,400 light-years
Size: 50-65 light-years


Location in the Night Sky

(Star Chart created using PixInsight)


All Images    Craig Sherris