IC 1396A - The Elephant Trunk Nebula
IC 1396A - The Elephant Trunk Nebula
IC 1396A - The Elephant Trunk Nebula
The Elephant Trunk Nebula is a faint globule contained within the star cluster and emission nebula IC 1396. The dust and gas within this cloud will eventually form numerous stars. This image also shows vdB 142 - a faint reflection within the Elephant Trunk

In this image, North is Up. This image is a mosaic representing 105% of a single full frame.

Exposure Details
Lens Celestron C-8 SCT with Celestron focal reducer
Focal Length 1160mm
Focal Ratio f/5.8
Mount Schaefer GEM - 7 1/2 Byers Gear
Guiding ONAG On-Axis Guider, Lodestar autoguider, PHD Guiding
Camera Canon 450D - Gary Honis modified
Exposure 233 subexposures of 180 seconds each at ISO 1600 - about 11 1/2 hours total
Calibration 30 darks, 30 flats, 30 bias
Date July 14, 15 and 16, 2012
Temperature 60F on 7/14, 57F on 7/15, 51F on 7/16
SQM Reading 21.3 (Bortle 4) on all 3 nights
Seeing 2 of 5 on 7/14, 4/15 on 7/15 and 7/16
Location Pine Mountain Club, California
Software Used Images Plus 4.5 for camera control, calibration, stacking, digital development, multiresolution sharpening, smoothing and noise reduction. Photoshop CS5 used for levels and curves, focus stacking, color correction, high pass filter, star shrinking, saturation adjustments, lab color, match color, selective color, sharpening, screen mask invert, HDR toning, and noise reduction. Gradient Xterminator for gradient removal. Carboni Tools for additional saturation adjustments, noise reduction, and smoothing. HLVG for additional color correction. Registar for aligning stacks.
Notes IC 1396A is quite faint and subtle and it proved to be very tricky for me to process. In order to have a sharp, wide field, I used focus stacking with this image and created a partial mosaic a little larger than a single frame width. Despite a lot of effort, I'm overall luke warm on this image. I think it could have benefited from some Ha data, and I may try to add that somewhere down the road.