Elephants Trunk Nebula IC 1396

The Elephant’s Trunk nebula is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust within the much larger ionized gas region IC 1396 located in the constellation Cepheus about 2,400 light years away from Earth. The Elephant’s Trunk nebula is now thought to be a site of star formation, containing several very young (less than 100,000 yr) stars that were discovered in infrared images in 2003. Two older (but still young, a couple of million years, by the standards of stars, which live for billions of years) stars are present in a small, circular cavity in the head of the globule. Winds from these young stars may have emptied the cavity.

Elephants Trunk Nebula IC 1396 Ha IC1396 Elephants Trunk Nebula


Elephants Trunk Nebula (IC 1396)


August 20, 30, & September 5, 2013


Telescope: Takahashi Sky 90II with F/4.5 reducer/flattener

Camera: SBIG ST-10XME w/ CFW10 (Astrodon Narrowband Filters: Ha, SII, OIII)

Autoguider: Orion Starshoot

Guidescope: Orion 80mm Shorty

Mount: Celestron CG-5 Mount

Exposure Info: Ha: 2 x 5 min, 19 x 7 min, 5 x 10 min – 193 mins
SII: 15 x 10 mins – 150 mins
OII: 14 x 10 mins – 140 minsTotal Exposure Time: 8 hours 3 mins


Maxim DL 5.23, Photoshop CS6, Topaz Denoise


This was my first narrowband image.  Colors are mapped to the Hubble Space Telescope Palette:

Ha = Green
SII = Red
OIII = Blue


  • A 3 iteration Lucy-Richardson Deconvolution on all 3 channels using CCDSharp
  • I then used Don Goldman’s Hubble Palette mapping tutorial in Photoshop CS6
  • Levels, Hues, Brightness were adjusted on all channels in PS
  • Used Topaz Denoise on the RGB Channel
  • After that, an Ha Layer was added back on top of the RGB channel as a luminance layer
  • The final image went through another very light Topaz Denoise again

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