top of page

Pickering's Triangle

Click on the images to view full size!

Pickering's Triangle within the Western Veil Nebula.

About the image:

This image is a true colour image shot in RGB on the ZWO ASI 533 MC Pro Cooled astronomy camera using the Optalong L-Enhance filter. Pickering's Triangle is a small section of the much larger Western Veil Nebula, which in turn is part of the larger Cygnus Loop - what remains of a star that went Supernova sometime between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago. The original star is estimated to have been 20 times move massive than our own sun. The whole nebula complex is over 3 degrees in diameter, which is 6 times wider than the full moon (Full moon diameter is 0.52 degrees), the over all area of the entire cygnus loop is 36 times the area of the full moon (imagine stacking 6 moons high and 6 moons wide - it's big!).

The nebula is comprised of ionised Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulphur, and has a distinct structure of blue and red in several district regions, known as The Eastern Veil Nebula and the Western Veil Nebula. The overall structure is estimated to be 130 light years in diameter. The whole Veil Nebula is currently expanding at a speed of 1.5 million kilometers per hour. Many of the brighter parts of the Nebula have been given New General Catalogue numbers (NGC 6960, NGC 6974, NGC 6979, NGC 6992, NGC 6995. Pickerings triangle is much fainter however and has no NGC number assigned to it. This part of the nebula was not discovered until 1904 when it was photographed by Williamina Fleming, however due to the customs of those time periods, the credit was given to the director of her observatory - Edward Charles Pickering. The overall nebula was first discovered by William Herschel in 1784.

Where in the sky is it?

Pickering's Triangle is located in the Western Veil Nebula within the Constellation of Cygnus. It can be found almost directly below the star Aljanah.


bottom of page