Nebulae / IC1396
IC1396
IC1396 - The "Elephant Trunk" Nebula

Object Description:
IC 1396 is one of the largest emission nebula complexes in the night sky, measuring some 140 x 170 arcminutes - almost three degrees in size!  It resides in the constellation of Cepheus, and is actually a stellar "nursery" that hosts many young and newly-formed stars.  This large nebula can be seen with the naked eye under extremely dark skies.  There is a bright central star cluster, also designated IC1396, which will interfere with your ability to see the faint nebulosity while visually observing this area with a rich-field telescope.  The entire nebular complex is criss-crossed by dark nebulae, which obscure the emission nebula behind them, many of which bear their own Barnard designations.

One of the most prominent parts of this object is vdb142, known as the "Elephant Trunk Nebula", and sometimes the, "Emperor Nebula", after its resemblance to the evil emperor in Star Wars.

This entire complex is thought to be some 3,000 light years from Earth.

Dates Taken:
 - 9/12/2006 through 10/21/2006

Equipment Used:
 - TAK FSQ
 - SBIG STL-6303
 - Paramount ME
 - FLI PDF
 - Astrodon 50mm Ha, OIII, and SII filters, with 6nm bandpass

Exposures:
 - Ha: 7 hours of 30 minute subs
 - OIII: 14 hours of 30 minute subs
 - SII: 9 hours of 30 minute subs
...totalling 30 hours

Processing:
CCDStack:
 - Calibration
 - Bloom repair
 - Image registration
 - Initial channel combines
 - Hot/cold pixel reduction
 - Gentle deconvolution
 - DDP

Photoshop CS2:
 - Color combine
 - Gradient removal
 - Color adjustments
 - Final bloom repair
 - Noise control
 - Shadow/highlight adjustments
 - Contrast enhancement (Noel Carboni's Photoshop Actions)
 - Contrast curves
 - Sharpening


IC1396, sG Version
This version is a "synthetic green" channel version.  It uses a combination of all three data sets, but with the green channel synthesized using one of Noel Carboni's Photoshop Actions, "Synthesize Green Channel".

Re-Balanced Shots:

I just finished recalibrating my monitor, and there turns out to be quite a difference!  Below, you see the re-balanced Hubble/Tricolor, the sG verson, and then a blend of the two:


Hubble Tricolor
sG Version
Hubble/sG Blend