IC1396 – The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula


Matt Foyle


FSQ106ED with extender at f/8
NEQ6 Pro
QHY9M CCD cooled to -20C
Baader 2″ filters
Guided with Orion Miniguder and QHY5M camera through the ST4 port
Captured and Processed in Nebulosity v3.0

This is the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula imaged over two nights (18-07-13 and 05-08-13) using the Takahashi 106ED with the CCD cooled to -20C. I took this for a friend (Tracey Snelus) who wanted to see how this region of space looked in Hydrogen Alpha. Most of the Ha data was collected on the 18-07-13 and I had to wait until the 05-08-13 to try and get the RGB data for the stars. It was a tough target for me with teh local cloud cover in the east and only the first time I’d used the scope with the extender. Although this increased the image resolution it left me tight on space to fit all of the trunk in and still show some of the surrounding sky. The seeing conditions were far from ideal and I would of possibly been better imaging at the scopes native f/5.

Ha = 11 x 1200s
RGB = 5 x 600s
Total time = 6hrs 10mins

I was particularly impressed with how well the stars were resolved in the image and had to take care when processing not to saturate them while still bringing out the regions of nebulosity. It was very much a challenge lining everything up on a tripod mounted scope and the target getting high in the sky on the second night. I had to go 1.5hrs past the meridian without flipping the scope and realigning everything at 1.30am so I could finish all of the colour before the sun started to rise again, I finally finished at 3.30am.