Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Cepheus (Cep)
Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
IC 1396 • Elephant's Trunk Nebula in SHO, 


            Douglas J Struble
IC 1396 • Elephant's Trunk Nebula in SHO
Powered byPixInsight

IC 1396 • Elephant's Trunk Nebula in SHO

Technical card

Imaging telescopes or lenses: Stellarvue SVX102T-R

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI1600MM-Cool

Mounts: Orion Atlas Pro AZ/EQ-G

Guiding telescopes or lenses: Stellarvue 50mm Guidescope

Guiding cameras: ASI224MC

Software: PHD2  ·  Sequence Generator Pro  ·  PixInsight  ·  Stellarium  ·  Photoshop CS5  ·  SkySafari Pro

Filters: Astronomik SII 1.25" 6nm  ·  Astronomik Ha 6nm 1.25''  ·  Astrodon Ha 5nm  ·  Astrodon SII 3nm  ·  Astrodon OIII 3nm

Accessory: ZWO 8x 1.25" Filter Wheel (EFW)  ·  QHYCCD PoleMaster  ·  MoonLite CFL 2.5" Large Format Focuser

Dates:June 11, 2017June 12, 2017May 19, 2019June 12, 2019June 20, 2019

Astrodon Ha 5nm: 53x240" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astrodon OIII 3nm: 40x240" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astrodon OIII 3nm: 210x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astrodon SII 3nm: 20x240" (gain: 139.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik Ha 6nm 1.25'': 205x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C bin 1x1
Astronomik SII 1.25" 6nm: 234x120" (gain: 200.00) -20C bin 1x1

Integration: 29.2 hours

Darks: ~50

Flats: ~50

Bias: ~250

Avg. Moon age: 15.37 days

Avg. Moon phase: 90.65%

Bortle Dark-Sky Scale: 6.00

Basic astrometry details

Astrometry.net job: 3251696

RA center: 21h 34' 29"

DEC center: +57° 39' 39"

Pixel scale: 1.101 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 267.537 degrees

Field radius: 0.645 degrees

Resolution: 3009x2959

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

Data source: Backyard


As galaxy season comes to a close, I am going back into narrowband capturing. Switching gears really messes with me, as I have a totally different procedure for processing narrowband. I had to reprocess this over a couple times till I was happy.

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.


Sky plot

Sky plot


IC 1396 • Elephant's Trunk Nebula in SHO, 


            Douglas J Struble