The Elephant’s Trunk nebula, IC 1396A, is a dark nebula, consisting of interstellar dust, in the larger emission nebula IC 1396. This nebula lies about 2,400 light years away in Cepheus. The Elephant’s Trunk is an active star forming region, with very young stars discovered within it in 2003. The bright rim of this dust cloud, which is shaped by the stellar winds of the new stars within, as well as the entire emission region, is illuminated by the ultraviolet radiation of massive stars that compose the triple star system HD 206267. These stars emit some of the highest velocity stellar wind for stars of this type.
The following image shows a closeup of the Elephant’s Trunk, with the triple star system HD 206267 in the upper left,
The full field shows some reflection around the bright yellow star Erakis, the Garnet star, on the left. Near the bottom left is the small, bright green planetary nebula IRAS 21394+5844.
September turned out to be a decent month of imaging for me after this very cloudy summer. I was able to collect 777 three minute exposures over the course of 7 nights, giving me over 38 hours of data on this target with my small 72ED telescope. Since I had completely disassembled, cleaned, and re-lubricated my EQM-35 mount, it has been behaving very well, with barely any streaked images from poor guiding. Recent bug fixes and enhancements to the ASIAIR makes it a pleasure to operate.