Elephant’s Trunk nebula is a part of IC1396 complex that contains both open star cluster and surrounding nebulosity. All this goods can be found in Cepheus, and the complex is about 2700 light years away. This region is pretty large – its apparent diameter is about three degrees, that is six times more than apparent diameter of the Moon.


The dark, dense globula IC1396A is commonly called the Elephant’s Trunk because of its appearance at visible light wavelengths. The bright tim is the surface of the dense cloud that is beeing illuminated and ionized by very bright, massive star just to the west of the nebula.  2014-10-27-ic1396-hargb-crop2014-08-28-vdb142

This star is multiple one – its members are hot, young and blue stars that emits most if its energy in UV light, ant this light causes the hydrogen molecules to shine in deep, red hue.
Elephant’s Trunk nebula is supposed to be a star formation region. The IR pictures revealed a few very young stars in there (younger than 100,000 years).

Clear skies!