wide field astrophotography
IC 1396 is an emission nebula located roughly 2,400 light years from Earth in the constellation Cepheus. Made up of glowing interstellar gas and dark dust clouds it is energized by a bright central star. The Elephant’s Trunk nebula (IC1396A) is a key feature located roughly in the centre of the formation.
The bright yellow star seen at the edge of IC 1396 (lower right) is The Garnet Star (aka Mu Cephei, Erakis). This red supergiant is one of the largest known stars, with a radius estimated at roughly 1,500 times that of the Sun (and is also thought to be about 100,000 times brighter).
Another version (rotated clockwise): This image of IC 1396 (Elephant's Trunk Nebula) is comprised of 6.5 hours of combined image data from 3 separate nights (Sept 19, 2021, Sept 30, 2022 and Oct 29, 2022). All image data was captured with an unmodified DSLR camera and unguided wide field 61mm refractor telescope.
The above version of the Elephant's Trunk nebula (IC1396) was captured from Bortle Class 5 skies. It combines 4 hours and 22 minutes of fresh unguided image data (2022-10-29) along with 1 hour and 23 minutes of unguided data captured a month earlier (2022-09-30).
The additional image exposures (and raw data) allows for more accurate processing yielding more light, colour and detail with less digital noise. (see original version below)
This first attempt at capturing IC 1396 leaves a lot to be desired but it is a start. I hope to have additional opportunities to improve upon the image data collected and look forward to updating the image output in due course.