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IC 1396 The Elephant's Trunk nebula

The Elephant's Trunk nebula is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust within the much larger ionized gas region of IC 1396 located about 2,400 light years away from Earth and elephant's trunk is over 20 light-years long. The nebula is the dark, dense globule IC 1396A; it is commonly called the Elephant's Trunk nebula because of its appearance, where there is a dark patch with a bright, supple shaped rim. The rim is the surface of a dense cloud that is being illuminated and ionized by a very bright, massive star. The entire IC 1396 region is ionized by a massive star, except for dense globules that can protect themselves from the harsh ultraviolet rays.

The Elephant's Trunk nebula is now thought to be a site of new star formations, containing several very young, less than 100,000 year old stars that were discovered in infrared images taken in 2003. Two older, but still young, a couple of million years, stars are present in a small, circular cavity in the head of the trunk. Winds from these young stars may have emptied the cavity.

This image was taken August and September of 2013

This image consists of : 8 X 10mins RGB, 10 X 10mins L   30 X 10mins HA and OIII    Total time = 15.6 hours 

Equipment:      Software: Site:
Telescope
Mount
Camera
Hyperion 12.5
Mountain Instruments MI250
SBIG STL11000
Maxim DL 4.64
The Sky 6
Photo Shop CS2

Oak Hills Observatory
Hesperia, Ca.