Jack Schmidling Productions, Inc.
18016 Church Road ~ Marengo IL 60152


The Western Veil Nebula

Each year I try to come up with some reason to take another picture of the magnificent Veil Nebula and this year is no exception. Although an easy target for film photography, the large apparent size of the Veil presents some real problems for the CCD imager. It just does not come close to fitting on the chip when using even modest sized telescopes.

My project this year was to try to capture a color picture of the whole Western Vail using the 4" Newtonian telescope and the MX716 CCD camera.

This first picture was taken with the 16" Telescope using the 4 x 5 AstroCamera. It was a 90 minute exposure on TechPan film.

To get a better feel for the grandeur of film click:


One thing we are always told to note about this object is that there are many more stars on one side of the nebula. This suposedly results from sweeping away obscuring gas as it travels past our field of view.

The arrows and numbers point to details in high resolution images that can be seen on the Veil Nebula page.

Western Veil Nebula

This actually, is our Photo of the Week. It was taken with the 4" Telescope and the MX716 CCD camera.

For those not familiar with the problem here, the 16" telescope has a focal length of 72" which produces an image of the Veil that is about 1.5" long. This fits nicely in the center of the 4 x 5 inch sheet of film.

On the other hand, the CCD camera has an active chip of about 1/2" across which would only cover a third of the nebula.

The 4" telescope has a focal length of 17" and the Veil just fits on the chip.

Looking at the two images one might ask, what good is a 16" telescope and the answer is, enlarging the CCD image to the same scale as is possible with the film negative would not be a pretty sight.

Film/CCD Composite

And finally, just for a lark, I combined the film image from the 16" with the color frames from the 4" to produce this image.

This says more about the marvelous processing tools available today than about the image itself in getting it all to line up and fit together.

I had enough fun just getting this one together but I suspect, I could get a much larger image without losing the color. I will save that for some long Winter night.

For a complete tour of the Veil Nebula ... Veil

For the most recent Astrophotos of the Week... RECENT PHOTOS

All film photos taken with the...JSP ASTROCAMERA

Astro Photo Index

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