Elephant’s Trunk in IC1396

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.

TelescopeSamyang 135 f/2 ED, f = 130mm
CameraAtik ONE 6.0, 5-Slot Filter Wheel with Baader Filters
ExposuresH, 67 x 300sec, ~5.5 hours total
Data taken11,12 September 2019
SiteTURMX @ E-EyE Observatory, Extremadura
ProcessingRobert Roth, 15 September 2019