IC 1396 : The Elephant's Trunk Nebula

Photographs by Andy Strappazzon



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Messier Number:

IC Number:
IC 1396

Common Name:
The Elephant's trunk


Distance from Earth:
2400  light years

Visual Magnitude:



The Elephant's Trunk nebula is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust in the star cluster IC 1396 and ionized gas region 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 Trunk nebula because of its appearance at visible wavelengths, where it 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 that is just to the west of IC 1396A. (In the Figure above, the massive star is just to the left of the edge of the image.) 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. (Wikipedia)


Date Taken:
25 May 2009

Italy - Trento - Celado

Temp = na

Skywatcher NEq6 Pro
Skywatcher ED80
Autoguided with:
Antares / Starshooter/ Phd
Images aquired with: 

Canon 350D unfiltred

Exposure Specs:
Lights: 90x180 sec @ 800ISO
Darks: 10x180 sec
Flats: 20 
Offsets: 46

Total Exposure: 270 min

Processed with:
Adobe Photoshop CS 2


Copyright 2009, Andy Strappazzon. All rights reserved.