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IC 1396 Elephant Trunk Nebula in HaRGB, 


            Douglas J Struble
IC 1396 Elephant Trunk Nebula in HaRGB

IC 1396 Elephant Trunk Nebula in HaRGB

Technical card

Resolution: 3623x4532

Dates:June 8, 2017June 12, 2017July 13, 2017July 14, 2017

Astrodon Blue Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 44x120" -20C bin 1x1
Astrodon Green Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 42x120" -20C bin 1x1
Astrodon Ha 5nm: 128x240" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astrodon Red Tru-Balance E-Series Gen 2: 24x120" -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 12.2 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~250

Avg. Moon age: 17.47 days

Avg. Moon phase: 86.91%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 6.00 job: 2096551

RA center: 323.713 degrees

DEC center: 57.477 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.551 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 285.504 degrees

Field radius: 0.444 degrees

Locations: Backyard Red Zone Observatory, Taylor, MI, Michigan, United States

Data source: Backyard


With the horrible weather, I decided to integrate two different data sets taken from two different telescopes I captured with last year.

The Elephant's Trunk nebula is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust within the much larger ionized gas region IC 1396 located in the constellation Cepheus about 2,400 light years away from Earth. The piece of the nebula shown here is the dark, dense globule IC 1396A; it is commonly called the Elephant's Trunk nebula because of its appearance at visible light wavelengths, where there is a dark patch with a bright, sinuous rim. The bright rim is the surface of the dense cloud that is being illuminated and ionized by a very bright, massive star (HD 206267) that is just to the east of IC 1396A. The entire IC 1396 region is ionized by the massive star, except for dense globules that can protect themselves from the star's harsh ultraviolet rays.

The Elephant's Trunk nebula is now thought to be a site of star formation, containing several very young (less than 100,000 yr) stars that were discovered in infrared images in 2003. Two older (but still young, a couple of million years, by the standards of stars, which live for billions of years) stars are present in a small, circular cavity in the head of the globule. Winds from these young stars may have emptied the cavity.

The combined action of the light from the massive star ionizing and compressing the rim of the cloud, and the wind from the young stars shifting gas from the center outward lead to very high compression in the Elephant's Trunk nebula. This pressure has triggered the current generation of protostars.



Douglas J Struble
License: None (All rights reserved)

Sky plot

Sky plot


IC 1396 Elephant Trunk Nebula in HaRGB, 


            Douglas J Struble