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Dates & Location

August 13th - 25th 2015 at the AstroCamp site near Nerpio, Spain. Elevation 1400 m.
Lat 38°:10 N, Long 2°:20 W

Catalogue identification

Elephant's Trunk Nebula,
Van DeBurgh 142
Part of the young star cluster complex IC1396

Equipment Used

Takahashi FSQ106N at 530mm focal length, F5.0.
Paramount ME German equatorial Mount.
Camera SBIG ST-11000M with FW-8L filter wheel.
TheSkyX Pro telescope control.
CCDSoft V 5.0 camera control.

Lakeside Focuser with FocusMax
ScopeDome remote observatory


Where it is in space

The Elephant Trunk Nebula is a spectacular star forming region within our Milky Way galaxy. It is about 2,400 light years distant in the constellation of Cepheus, forming part of the larger IC 1396 emission nebula complex.
In this image, North is up, East is left.

Remote session using RADMIN remote PC control from Ravenshead, UK.
LRGB exposures:- 150:80:80:80 mins total using 10 min sub-exposures at -15°C. All images binned 1x1. Used for natural star colouring only.
Main image content created using narrowband filters Ha, SII and OIII (Custom Scientific):-
180:180:180 mins total using 15 min sub-exposures at -15°C. All images binned 1x1.

  What it is

It consists of ionized gas, dust, and reflection nebula. The name Elephant Trunk derives from the long dark dust lane. The 'eye' at the eastern end of the 'trunk' has an especially intriguing and somewhat eerie appearance. this may be due to a newly formed star having blown off the surrounding dust, revealing a luminous circle of reflection nebula with patches of both emission and reflection nebulae.

A detailed image of the Elephants Trunk nebula itself taken with a 400mm RC telescope in LRGB natural colour can be viewed here: Rotated and Cropped Image Centre

Processing Methods

Image acquisition and telescope control with CCDSoft V5, TheSkyX Pro and CCD AutoPilot V5.  
  Data reduction and Narrowband synthetic luminence images were created with CCDStack. LRGB colour master prepared in CCDStack. NB colour master prepared in CCDStack.  

Master RGB image and Master NB Image finished with Photoshop CS6. Final false colour image created and natural colour stars blended using PhotoShop CS6.