Stunning emission nebula IC 1396 mixes glowing cosmic gas and dark dust clouds in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Energized by the bright central star seen here, this star forming region sprawls across hundreds of light-years, spanning over three degrees on the sky while nearly 3,000 light-years from planet Earth. Among the intriguing dark shapes within IC 1396, the winding Elephant’s Trunk nebula lies just above center. Stars could still be forming inside the dark shapes by gravitational collapse. But as the denser clouds are eroded away by powerful stellar winds and radiation, any forming stars will ultimately be cutoff from the reservoir of star stuff.
The entire IC 1396 region is ionized by a massive star, except for dense globules that can protect themselves from the star’s harsh ultraviolet rays.
|Scope||Canon 200mm lens at f2.3|
|Camera||Canon EOS t3i modified|
|Guiding||St-i through a Zenithstar 80mm refractor|
|Exposure Info||1 hour total exposure time (12x5 minutes)|
|Date||September 10, 2018|
|Copyright||Photo copyright Thomas Kerns, Beluga Lake Observatory|