Waid Observatory

Object: NGC 6979 - Pickering's Triangle
Date: Aug. 22-31 Sep. 1-3-4, 2015       Location: Denton, TX
Telescope: ATRC12      Camera: ST-10XME      Mount: MI-250
Exposure: Ha = 4.5 hours   -  OIII = 5.5 hours.  (30 min. sub-exposures)
Red, Green, & Blue for Stars = 20 min. each
Guided using Innovations Foresight On Axis Guider (ONAG)
Click on the image below to view at higher resolution.


NGC 6979


NGC 6979 in the Veil Nebula 1

NGC 6979, also known as Pickering's Triangle, is located in the northern portion of the much larger Veil Nebula.  The Veil complex is a supernova remnant located in the constellation Cygnus - The Swan.  The distance to the Veil is somewhat uncertain.  Recent studies estimate the nebula lies a maximum distance from the Earth of 1,470 light-years.

The image above is composed of a bright section of Pickering's Triangle.  This celestial object was actually discovered by Williamina Fleming in 1904.  She was employed by Edward Charles Pickering, the director of the Harvard College Observatory, to examine photographic plates and catalog the stars and other celestial objects.  As was the custom of the time, newly discovered objects were named for the employer and not the observatory assistant who actually made the discovery.  Williamina Fleming made many discoveries while working for Edward Pickering.  One of the more famous objects she discovered is the Horse Head Nebula.  Personally, I'm glad it is not know as Pickering's Horse!

The image above was captured using Ha (Hydrogen Alpha) and OIII (Doubly Ionized Oxygen) narrowband filters. The image was assembled by mapping Ha to the red channel and OIII to the green and blue channels.  The stars were overlaid with Red, Green, and Blue filtered data.

A standard Hubble Palette narrowband version of the image may be viewed here.

1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veil_Nebula

Copyright Donald P. Waid