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IC 1396 – Elephant’s Trunk Nebula

The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula (Catalogued IC 1396) is an emission nebula in the constellation Cepheus. The photo below showcases the image I was able to capture from a city backyard using a narrowband filter. To get an idea of what went into capturing this image, you can watch my video Let’s Photograph the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula.

Elephant's Trunk Nebula

IC 1396 – The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula – Trevor Jones

A wide-field refractor telescope with a focal length of 550mm was used to collect a large area of the night sky at once. With a dedicated field corrector attached, I was able to record images with sharp stars right to the edge of the frame. The Sky-Watcher Esprit 100ED is an impressive little telescope for astrophotography.

Total Exposure Time: 1 Hour, 50 Minutes
(22 x 5 minutes)

Mount: iOptron CEM60 center-balanced equatorial mount
Telescope: Sky-Watcher 100ED Super APO triplet
Camera: ZWO ASI294MC Pro
Reducer: Sky-Watcher 2-Element Field Corrector
Filter: STC Astro Duo-Narrowband Filter
Autoguiding: Starfield 60mm Guide Scope Package

Photographing the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula

Although I have attempted to shoot this target many times using a DSLR camera, my latest results using a dedicated astronomy camera are the best yet. The TEC cooling system on the ZWO ASI294 MC Pro allowed me to record 5-minute exposures with very little noise. For a detailed description of this deep sky imaging session, please see: Photographing the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula.