Focal Pointe Observatory
Astrophotography by Bob Franke

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The Veil Nebula

Narrowband Color Mapped

      Click the full screen zoom button           ^
Click the image to Zoom and Pan              

Click here to view the image, 1/2 size, without Zoomify (1950 x 1300)

Click here for a video showing an X-Ray and optical narrowband blend



      Click the full screen zoom button           ^
Click the image to Zoom and Pan              

Click here to view the image without Zoomify (1875 x 1250)



Takahashi FSQ-106ED @ f/5.0 (530 mm F.L.)  Captured at 3.5 arcsec/pixel.  The Zoomify image scale is 7.0 to 18.2 arcsec / pixel.


Paramount ME


SBIG STL-11000 w/ internal filter wheel, AstroDon 6 nm Gen I Filters

Acquisition Data

8/18/2008 to 9/7/2008 Chino Valley, AZ... with CCDAutoPilot3 & CCDSoft.


SII   240 min. (8 x 30 min. bin 1x1)

Hα    240 min. (8 x 30 min. bin 1x1)
OIII  180 min. (6 x 30 min. bin 1x1)


Upper two images:

SII,Ha & OIII are mapped to RGB respectivly, with the white and black points approximately equal.

Bottom image:

SII,Ha & OIII are mapped to RGB respectivly. 

Then the colors were changed, using PhotoShop's Selective Color.

Click here for an Ha:OIII:OIII  synthetic RGB version.
Click here for an Ha filtered b/w version.


  • CCDSoft, CCDStack, Photoshop CS w/ the Fits Liberator plugin. Noel Carboni's actions.

  • CCDStack to calibrate, register, normalize, data reject and combine the sub exposures.

  • PhotoShop for the color combine &  on-linear stretching.


North is to the top.

These false color images were acquired with Ha, SII and OIII filters mapped to the RGB channels respectively. The colors of top two mages more closely follow the Hubble Palette, with the color channels stretched to about equal levels.  The presence of sulfur, hydrogen and oxygen are clearly shown. Red indicates the presence sulfur, green hydrogen and blue oxygen. However, it looks like the sulfur is mainly present where there is also hydrogen and oxygen, creating the white areas.

With no color manipulation, the image would be basically green, due to the dominance of hydrogen.

The bottom image was additionally processed to produce a color motif made popular by the Hubble imaging team.


These wisps of gas are all that remain visible of a Milky Way star. Many thousands of years ago that star exploded in a supernova leaving the Veil Nebula. At the time, the expanding cloud was likely as bright as a crescent Moon toward the constellation of Cygnus, visible for weeks to people living at the dawn of recorded history. The remaining supernova remnant lies about 1400 light-years away and covers over five times the size of the full Moon. The bright wisp on the right is known as the Witch's Broom Nebula and can be seen with a small telescope. The Veil Nebula is also known as the Cygnus Loop.