IC 1396 – The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula in Ha Narrowband

IC 1396, known as the Elephant’s Trunk nebula, is an ionised gaseous region located in Cepheus. It is around 2,400 light years away and the main ‘trunk’ is around 20 light years in length. The nebula is best imaged in narrowband using a Ha (Hydrogen Alpha) filter to capture the interstellar dust and gas fields that are illuminated by the star HD 206267.

This image was captured near to summer solstice (June 10th and 17th 2017) and has a total integration time of 117 minutes (18 x 390secs) light frames, 20 dark frames, 50 light frames and a superbias stacked from 1000 bias frames.

I tried capturing some S2 and O3 data but the near full moon washed out the data so I elected to compose a mono image made from the Ha data solely. The data was calibrated and stacked in Pixinsight, before being stretched. The contrast was deepened using curve adjustments.


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