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IC1396A / Elephant's Trunk nebula

Classification: IC 1396A: Emission Nebula
Constellation: Cepheus (CEP)
Object Location: Ra 21h 35m 39s Dec +57° 35’2
Size & Distance: Roughly 20 light years in length. Apx 2,400 light-years

Date & Location: 10-25-2008 Palomar Mountain, CA
Exposure: Ha, 8 @ 15min, (bin 1x1)
Optics: Telescope Engineering Company APO 140ED f/7 980mm / FLI-DF-2 focuser.
Mount: Astro-Physics 900 GTO / ATS 10x36 pier
Camera: SBIG-ST10XME @-15c
Filters: Astrodon 5nm Ha
Software: MaxImDL 4.56 Photoshop CS

Notes: Sky conditions: Very good seeing, Light wind, Temp 60°
Image Field of view is 35 x 52 arc-min.

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 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.