SaratogaSkies Jim Solomon's Astropics


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vdB 142 (The Elephant Trunk)

Mouse-over to see annotations. (Requires Javascript) Click to see high-res version.

Image Details:

Camera: Mofidied Canon Rebel XT (350D): Hutech Type I Filter Replacement
Mount: Celestron AS-GT
Scope: Celestron C8-N (8" f/5 Newtonian)
Configuration: Prime Focus
Additional Optics: Celestron/Baader Multi Purpose Coma Corrector (MPCC)
Filter: None
Effective Focal Length: 1000mm
Effective Focal Ratio: f/5
Exposure: 30 x 8min @ ISO 400
Total Exposure: 4hrs, 0min
Date: 10/26/2006 8:21:09 pm PDT (start)
Location: Saratoga, CA, USA
Acquisition: DSLRfocus
Focus: DSLRFocus
Dithering: GADFly 1.0.5
Guiding: GuideDog via Philips ToUcam Pro II (840k) through Orion ST80 w/ Celestron 2x "Kit" Barlow


  • IRIS: Dark subtraction, registration, gradient removal
  • JimP: Flat field, Kappa-Sigma Stacking, White balance, ASINH stretching
  • Photoshop: Levels, cropping, JPG conversion

Image Description:

This is a closeup of the Western portion of IC 1396, a Dark Nebula known as the Elephant Trunk in the constellation of Cepheus. The Dark Nebula (LDN 1105) suggests the elephant-trunk shape, while vdB 142 actually refers to the tiny patch of Reflection Nebula around the 9th mag star HD 239710 near the elephant's snout (see the mouse-over labels). This image is "First Light post-nasal surgery" <grin>, and I'm pretty happy with it considering the poor seeing and transparency. It could definitely use some Hα exposures to improve the contrast. A higher resolution image is also available. North is up.