IC 1396 The Elephant Trunk Nebula

Monday , 17, February 2020 Leave a comment
IC 1396 SHO

For a full size image click here.

Distance: 2,400 Light Years

Magnitude: 11.5

Size: 170 Arc Minutes

Telescope: Borg 71

Camera: QSI683

Mount: AP1100

Exposures: SII 38×600 Bin 1, Ha 46×600 Bin 1, OIII 30×600 Bin 1

This image was captured from my home in a Bortle 6/7 zone.

IC 1396, also known as the Elephant Trunk nebula, is found in the constellation Cepheus and is about 2,400 light years away. IC 1396 is one of the larger emission nebula taking up about 3 degrees of sky and containing several star forming regions. The most prominent is IC 1396A which is the part that resembles an elephant trunk. IC 1396A is a dense dark cloud of dust that is illuminated by a very bright nearby star that also illuminates the entire nebula. The bright star is HD 206267 and it is a massive Type O star. The radiation and winds from this star are thought to be the force behind the compression of gas and dust creating the star forming regions. Also contributing to illumination of this area is the open star cluster Trumpler 37 which is seen in the foreground of my image. The glowing edges surrounding parts of the dark globules are formed by the excited gas in the Ha region. This presents the bright backdrop for the globule. In the tip of the Elephant Nebula is a circular globule of dust that is open in the middle. Two newly formed stars are found here and they have cleared a section of the dust cloud as a process of their formation.

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