Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Elephant's Trunk in IC 1396

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#104206 by @ 19.10.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
The Elephant's Trunk in IC 1396


Like an illustration in a galactic
Just So Story, the
Elephant's Trunk Nebula
winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster
complex IC 1396, in the high and far off

Of course, this cosmic elephant's trunk is over 20 light-years long.

The false-color
view was recorded through narrow band filters
that transmit the light from hydrogen (in green), sulfur (in red),
and oxygen (in blue)
atoms in the region.

The resulting composite highlights the bright swept-back ridges that
outline pockets of cool
dust and gas.

Such embedded, dark,
tendril-shaped clouds contain the
raw material for
star formation and hide
protostars within the obscuring cosmic dust.

Nearly 3,000
light-years distant, the relatively faint
1396 complex
covers a large region
on the sky, spanning about 5 degrees.

This dramatic close-up covers a 1/2 degree wide field,
about the size of the Full Moon.

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