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Elephant Trunk Nebula - Testing a new setup, 


            Christophe Perroud
Elephant Trunk Nebula - Testing a new setup

Elephant Trunk Nebula - Testing a new setup

Technical card

Resolution: 5315x3543

Dates:June 1, 2019

Frames: 20x300" ISO800

Integration: 1.7 hours

Darks: ~7

Flats: ~30

Bias: ~40

Avg. Moon age: 27.55 days

Avg. Moon phase: 4.36%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 4.00

Temperature: 8.00 job: 2737846

RA center: 323.741 degrees

DEC center: 57.434 degrees

Pixel scale: 0.675 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 13.687 degrees

Field radius: 0.598 degrees

Locations: La Frètaz, Bullet, VD, Switzerland

Data source: Traveller


Last Friday, I had finally the chance to remember my beloved hobby : astrophotography! Yes, after almost 4 months of busy work, moving, family duty and bad weather, I offered myself a break under the stars with a few starlovers from local astronomy club ;-)

But this time, I also made a new challenge : deep sky imaging with the bigger Takahashi refractor, a TSA120, I normally set up for visual observations, mounted atop an AP 600E GTO (this purchased used). I own this beautiful gear for 5 years now and was always delighted how the view turned on through that triplet, sharp, color corrected, very stable at high magnification. But how good it will be for imaging? Let’s have a test…

IC1396 in Constellation Cepheus is well-known up here and there is plenty of nice pictures of it done with a wide range of instruments and cameras. It would help my while processing the data. I chose also this object because I immortalized it last summer and could compair both images after all.

I paid great attention to level the tripod and polar align the mount as fine as possible. Using a flattener from Stellarvue screwed behind the 3’’ FT focuser, I began recording 60, 120, 240 and 300 second unguided single exposure with Canon 600D to make sure everything works well at 900mm focal length. It did…but tracking was poor even after 2 minutes as I guessed it due to longer focal. So, time to try autoguiding for the first time! Challenging the challenge !!! I was surprised to see how easy it was setting up the Lacerta MGen behind a 8x50 finderscope. A few parameters later, the AP was working like a charm 5 minutes long! So much satisfaction in one night :-)

I took only 22 lights of 300 sec each, did flats, bias and dark, and packed all stuffs back into the car at 3:30am. What a fantastic starry night it was! My others colleagues enjoyed it as well. I only missed a better framing of the Trunk and had to crop the image as borders show some coma. Only 2 frames have been rejected as they showed slightly elongated stars. The last but not the least, I did a complet prostprocessing with PixInsight only!

Finally, I will remember this special June 1st as a new step in astrophotography for me and I’m pleased to publish the result. Please feel free to comment, criticism and suggest any improvement! Clear skies to all :-)



Christophe Perroud
License: None (All rights reserved)


  • Elephant Trunk Nebula - Testing a new setup, 


            Christophe Perroud
  • Final
    Elephant Trunk Nebula - Testing a new setup, 


            Christophe Perroud


10.06.2019 : New version with better background and nebulosity using BackgroundEnhance and less noise (I hope..) using TGVDenoise. Remove also some greenish hue.

Sky plot

Sky plot


Elephant Trunk Nebula - Testing a new setup, 


            Christophe Perroud