NGC 6960 – The Witch’s Broom Nebula

NGC 6960 Witch's Broom Nebula
NGC 6960: The Witch’s Broom Nebula. Image credit: T. A. Rector (U. Alaska), WIYN, NOAO, AURA, NSF.

The Witch’s Broom Nebula, also known as NGC 6960, is a mesmerizing celestial object located in the Cygnus constellation. It is one of the most breathtaking sights in the universe, featuring vibrant colors and intricate details that capture the imagination of astronomy enthusiasts worldwide. Its intricate filaments of gas and dust create an otherworldly beauty that captures the imagination of both scientists and stargazers.

In this article, we will delve into the mystical beauty of this nebula and uncover the secrets that make it a favorite among stargazers.

Where Is the Witch’s Broom Nebula Located

NGC 6960, nicknamed the Witch’s Broom Nebula, is a fascinating and captivating object in the night sky. It is a part of the larger Veil Nebula complex, and it is located in the constellation of Cygnus about 2400 light-years away from Earth. The Veil Nebula complex also includes the Eastern Veil Nebula as well as Pickering’s Triangle.

Cygnus Constellation Map IAU
Cygnus Constellation Map. Credit: IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg). License: CC BY 3.0.

The Witch’s Broom Nebula Origin and Age

This nebula, is a supernova remnant, which means that it was formed from the explosion of a star 20 times more massive than our Sun. Its age is estimated to be around 10,000 and 20,000 years old, making it relatively young in astronomical terms.

NGC 6960 Nicknames

NGC 6960 is nicknamed the Witch’s Broom Nebula due to its distinct shape, which resembles a broomstick or a brush. This shape is caused by the interaction between the nebula’s gas and dust with the surrounding interstellar medium.

Other nicknames for NGC 6960 include Lacework Nebula, Finger of God, Filamentary Nebula, and the Western Veil Nebula.


The Witch’s Broom Nebula is a fascinating astronomical object that has captivated the imagination of scientists and stargazers alike. Its unique properties, including its bright colors and intricate structure, make it a popular target for telescopes and other instruments.

However, the true significance of this nebula goes beyond its visual beauty. By studying this cosmic wonder, we can gain a better understanding of the universe and our place within it.

As we continue to learn more about this amazing object, we can only imagine what other wonders await us in the vast expanse of space. So let us continue to marvel at the beauty of the Witch’s Broom Nebula and use it as a reminder of the incredible complexity and diversity of the universe we live in.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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