Astrophotography Oberstdorf – Imaging the Witch’s Broom Nebula

This article is about Astrophotography in Oberstdorf. Last year I put all my equipment into the car and drove to Lake Garda. Unfortunately, in contrast to the forecast I had lots of clouds and no chance to take a good astro-picture. Last weekend I decided to give it another try and took all my equipment to Oberstdorf – a small village at the foot of the German Alps. Beside hiking I think this place is well suited for astrophotography.

I found a good place not far from the center of Oberstdorf, with free view to Polaris and almost no traffic:

GPS coordinates: 47°24’17.5″N 10°17’28.9″E

Important update: The described location can only be reached by car when driving into a “no entry” road. Of course you do this on your own risk.

(Oh, and btw. a good Italian restaurant is also not too far: Ai Quattro Canti…)

Compared to Böblingen the light pollution in Oberstdorf is much less critical. I was even able to see the Milky Way from my observation point. The picture on the left I took this evening with my Fujifilm X-T1 camera (f/2.8, 15s, ISO2000). The image was saved as RAW and post-processed with rawtherapee. For this image the dark-frame subtraction was enabled. Unfortunately there is still some noise in the image…. :-/

Anyhow, due to the good conditions I decided to give the Witch’s broom nebula another try.

The Witch’s broom nebula (or NGC6960) is part of the Veil Nebula. The Veil Nebula is a cloud of heated and ionized gas and dust in the constellation Cygnus. It is an object with some quite faint structures. I tried to take a photo two years ago but the image didn’t look quite good. My guess is it was because I didn’t use flatfield images at that point in time and maybe also because of the light pollution. The overall result of this night in Oberstdorf is shown on the right (click on the image to enlarge or this link to see it in full resolution).

LocationOberstdorf / Germany
ObjectNGC6960 (The Witch's Broom Nebula)
Guidingyes, QHY5-II Mono via OAG
Telescope8" GSO Newtonian
Barlow lensnone
Luminance9x, 600s, bin: 1x1
Red8x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Green9x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Blue9x, 150s, bin: 2x2
Total exposure~2h35min.

I am very happy that everything worked out that night – just because so many things could have gone wrong. Since I am very satisfied with the result I decided to put this image into my “Top 20 astro pics” gallery. Below are some more pictures of that astro-night in Oberstdorf.

Clear skies!

Last updated: June 17, 2022 at 13:36 pm

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