Elephant Trunk Nebula in Cepheus

Elephant Trunk Nebula
All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

Please click here or on image for a higher resolution view.

Magnitude:  Unknown.
Size: Roughly about 45 arcminutes (Elephant Trunk itself).  The Elephant Trunk is located within the faint IC1396 emission nebula, which is about 3 degrees across.
Distance: 2,450 light years
RA: 21h 35m 37s
Dec: 57degrees 24' 03"

The Elephant Trunk Nebula is located within the large IC1396 emission nebula complex.  This beautiful area of hydrogen gas and dust is a stellar nursery that holds many young nascent stars.  The top region of the Elephant Trunk (on the right side of this image) is being blown away by radiation emitted from new-born stars
that are igniting deep within the nebula.   Although the dark gas and dust are opaque to visible light, infrared light passes through this region easily, permitting a view of the inner workings of the Elephant Trunk.  Please click here for an infrared view of this area taken through the Space InfraRed Telescope Facility (SIRTF), now known as the Spitzer Space Telescope.  

Photographic Details:

Date:  June 26, 2005.
Takahashi FS-102 at f6 with TOA-130 focal reducer, on the G11 Losmandy Mount.
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder.
Camera:  Maxcam CM10.
AstroDon Ha filter (6 nm bandpass).
Exposures (unbinned):  15 x 15' each.  Total exposure 3.75 hours.
Conditions:  Very hazy, very hot, below average transparency; average seeing; a mild breeze.
Image Processing:  Calibrated subs were debloomed with Ron Wodaski's Debloomer software, and then aligned in Registar.  Sigma combined using RC Sigma Reject MaximDL, followed by DDP in ImagesPlus (IP).  Levels, curves, high-pass sharpening in Photoshop CS (16 bit format).

Please note:  Graphics on this website may not be reproduced without author permission.

Back to Nebulae