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VdB 142 – The Elephant’s Trunk

Van den Bergh 142 is an interesting area of bright and dark nebulosity in the constellation of Cepheus.   The long horizontal dark structure in the center of the image is VdB 142.  It is also known as the “Elephant’s Trunk” and as IC 1396A.  VdB 142 is part of a much larger bright and dark nebula complex with the designation of IC 1396.  Only a small portion of IC 1396 – the dim reddish background and the dark nebula filaments throughout the frame – is seen in this image.  IC 1396 and VdB 142 are about 2,400 light years from Earth.

This image was taken on August 12 – 13, 2018 at the San Diego Astronomy Assiciation site at Tierra del Sol, San Diego County, California with a Takahashi FSQ-106EDXIV telescope and a ZWO ASI1600MM-C camera.  The image is a combination of 50 x 240 second images [ 19 each for red, green and blue filtered images] and was taken with the ZWO ASI1600MM-Cooled camera set to a gain of 76 with an offset of 15.  I used a Baader  36mm unmounted red, green and blue filters.  The individual subexposures were calibrated, aligned and stacked with PixInsight.  A light application of MultiscaleLinearTransform was used to attenuate noise.  A light stretch was performed with HistogramTransformation.  Final contrast and color adjustments were performed in Photoshop.

Click on the image below to see a slightly larger version.  To see a full scale image, click on this link.

Posted in Bright Nebula, Dark Nebula

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