The Elephant’s Trunk is one these mysterious combinations of dark dust clouds embedded into bright emission nebulae. The elephant’s trunk itself is the dark horizontal column left of the center in the image below. It is embedded into a much larger emission nebula IC1396 in the constellation Cepheus at a distance of 2400 light-years from earth. The dark nebula is a star forming region containing very young stars visible only in the infrared, where the light is able to penetrate the dust clouds.
The above monochrome image is composed from 5.5 hours of hydrogen-alpha data, taken with our wide-field setup using a Samyang 135mm telephoto lens in combination with an Atik One 6.0 astro camera. Processing is pretty basic, just some histogram stretches plus local histogram transformations, the only fancy step is star removal with the StarNet++ neutral network. For the image below, the starts were put back in, after enhancing the nebulosity.
|Telescope||Samyang 135 f/2 ED, f = 130mm|
|Camera||Atik ONE 6.0, 5-Slot Filter Wheel with Baader Filters|
|Exposures||H, 67 x 300sec, ~5.5 hours total|
|Data taken||11,12 September 2019|
|Site||TURMX @ E-EyE Observatory, Extremadura|
|Processing||Robert Roth, 15 September 2019|