Elephant Trunk Nebula, IC1396

Sep 2021

Imaging: TS80 apo, ZWO ASI533 (100 gain, 0C), L-Enhance
Subs: 257x120s (8h), darks, flats, and darkflats
Software: NINA, Phd2, PixInsight

(Additional notes below)



The Elephant Trunk Nebula is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust within a much larger region about 2400 LY away in the constellation Cepheus. Per Wikipedia, the gas in the region is ionized by a very large star just outside the frame of this image. It is now thought to be a region of star formation containing several baby stars (only recently found in IR images in 2003).

I captured the subs for this image over 5 nights in late September. This is in the HOO color palette which maps colors to the type of gas in the nebula (red for Ha and blue for OIII). In human RGB color, though, this area is all just shades of red.

You (hopefully) see a pretty picture. But for me, this particular image represents peace. This was many hours of work, and it was the only time I could partially get lost and mentally away during a torturous period in our life. It is somewhat comforting to tease out and see the beauty hidden around us, even very far away. It was that way before us and will be that way long after us.