Elephant's Trunk Nebula (with vdB 142)

clic for 32% size 1196 x 773 (374 kB)

Clic here for 50% size 1929x1247 (890 kB)

clic for 50% size 2004 x 1335 (805 kB)


About this Image

The Elephant's Trunk Nebula, an elongated dark cometary globule is situated within the western part of the huge IC 1396 emission complex in the constellation Cepheus. The small blue reflection nebula in the top of the trunk is named vdB 142. Located at a distance of 2,450 light-years, the globule is a condensation of dense gas and dust, compressed by the surrounding ionized gas, which is barely surviving the strong ionizing radiation from a nearby massive star.
IC 1396 covers an apparent width of more than 10 full moons.
North is up.

A closeup on vdB 142 in 30/70% size is shown below.

clic for 70% size 1350 x 1155 (513 kB)

Technical Details


16" Cassegrain in corrected prime focus at f/3

Mount MK-100 GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -15C, 1x1 bin, internal filter wheel
Filters Astronomik Ha, O-III, B
Date Sep 01 2005.
Location Wildon/Austria
Sky Conditions mag 4.5 sky, low transparency, temperature 22 C
Exposure Ha:O-III:B = 90:60:40 minutes (30-minute sub-exposures for H-alpha and O-III, 10 min subs for B),
Processing Image aquisition, calibration, aligning, stacking, color synthesis in Maxim DL 4.11;
Photoshop: H-alpha as red and blended 30% as L channel, O-III as green, levels and curves, color balance; very little noise reduction by Neatimage;