Elephant Trunk Nebula (Within IC 1396)

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The Elephant Nebula, shot in RGB (True Colour)


Annotated Version:

About the image:

This image is a true colour RGB image shot on the ZWO ASI 533 MC Pro Cooled astronomy camera using the Optalong L-Enhance filter, shot over 3 nights from a Bortle 6 zone at F7.5, comprises a total of 13.9 hours of data. The Elephant Trunk Nebula is the name given to a distinct structure of Gas and dust that lies within the much larger region of ionised gases known as IC 1393. It lies approximately 2,400 light years from earth in the constellation of Cepheus. This structure is also known as IC 1396A. The gas clouds in this region are being ionised by a massive star known as HD 206267 - in fact this is a triple star system with the two closest stars orbiting each other in a mere 3.7 days. All three of these stars are massive and give off extremely intense ultraviolet light which excites the gases within IC1393 and excites them, causing them to glow. The stellar wind from these three stars is so string that it prevents nearby stars from forming planets as it prevents protoplanetary disks from forming. The region is known to be an active star forming region and contains many proto stars in the early part of their lives.

Where in the sky is it?

The Elephant Trunk Nebula can be found in the constellations of Cepheus, check the sky map below (click to expand).