The Elephant's Trunk nebula (IC 1396) is a concentration of interstellar gas and dust within the much larger ionized gas region IC 1396 located in the constellation Cepheus about 2,400 light years away from Earth.
The Elephant's Trunk nebula is now thought to be a site of star formation, containing several very young (less than 100,000 yr) stars that were discovered in infrared images in 2003. Two older (but still young, a couple of million years, by the standards of stars, which live for billions of years) stars are present in a small, circular cavity in the head of the globule. Winds from these young stars may have emptied the cavity.
Data captured over 7 nights between 2nd October & 22nd November, 2020.
80x 10 minute exposures with Hydrogen-Apha filter.
34x 2 minute exposures with Blue filter (Binned 2x2).
42x 2 minute exposures with Green filter (Binned 2x2).
45x 2 minute exposures with Red filter (Binned 2x2).
Total Exposure = 17.4 hours.
Skywatcher Quattro 200 CF
Atik 460EX Mono
This image was processed in Pixinsight & Lightroom.
Calibration and Stacking in Pixinsight using Batch PreProcessing.
Dynamic Crop - To remove black edges & integration artifacts. (Each Channel)
Dynamic Background Extraction - To remove gradients. (Each Channel)
Linear Fit - To equalise each of the RGB channels.
Channel Combination - To combine RGB channels.
Photometric Colour Calibration - To calibrate colours. (RGB Image)
SCNR - To remove green cast. (RGB Image)
Deconvolution - To bring out some fine detail & tighten stars, 50-100 iterations. (Ha only)
Multiscale Linear Transform - Noise reduction. (Ha only)
Histogram Transformation - To stretch the Ha & RGB. (Using statistics process to keep background levels even)
LRGB Combination - To blend Ha & RGB, creating the HaRGB image.
TVGDenoise - To reduce noise, with Rangemask to protect nebula.
Curves Transformation - To boost contrast slightly.
UnsharpMask - To sharpen nebula detail, with inverted nebula mask in place.
Local Histogram Equalisation - To sharpen nebula detail, with inverted nebula mask in place.
Curves Transformation - To boost nebula saturation, with inverted nebula mask in place.
Curves Transformation - To boost contrast, with inverted nebula mask in place.
TVGDenoise - To reduce noise around edge of nebula, with inverted nebula mask in place.
Dark Structure Enhance - To boost contrast.
Export as JPEG and import into Lightroom.
Increase Contrast (+15)
Reduce Blacks (-15)
Boost Vibrance (+50)
Boost Red Saturation (+50)
Export final JPEG for upload.