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Astrophotography by Bob Franke

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IC 1396 The Elephant Trunk Nebula in Mapped Color


Click the image for a 7.0 arcsec/pixel (1/2 size) display (1875 x 1250)

Click the image for a 7.0 arcsec/pixel (1/2 size) display (1875 x 1250)


Takahashi FSQ-106ED @ f/5.0 (530 mm F.L.)  Captured at 3.5 arcsec/pixel.  Shown resampled to 17.5 arcsec/pixel.


Paramount ME


SBIG STL-11000 w/ internal filter wheel, AstroDon 6nm Filters

Acquisition Data

7/28/2008 to 7/31/2008 Chino Valley... with CCDAutoPilot3


SII   150 min.  (10 x 15 min. bin 2x2)

Hα    360 min.  (24 x 15 min. bin 1x1)
OIII  180 min.  (12 x 15 min. bin 2x2)

For the upper image:

Hα  is used for the luminance

SII,Ha & OIII are mapped to RGB respectivly


CCDSoft, CCDStack, Photoshop CS w/ the Fits Liberator plugin and Noel Carboni's actions.

CCDStack to calibrate, register, normalize, data reject & combine.

PhotoShop for non-linear stretching and the color combine.


North is to the bottom... I think it looks better up side down.

The colors in the top image use the Hubble Palette, with the Hα data used for the luminance. The lower image uses an "inverted" Hubble Palette. The SII data is mapped to blue and the OIII to red.

Sprawling across hundreds of light-years, emission nebula IC 1396 mixes glowing cosmic gas and dark dust clouds. Stars are forming in this area, only about 3,000 light-years from Earth. This view of the region is a composite of digital images recorded through narrow band filters. The filters actually block out most of the light... but narrowly transmit wavelengths characteristic of specific glowing atoms in the nebula. In fact, the color scheme used here makes it easy to trace some of the elements which contribute to the emission from IC 1396. In the upper image, emission from sulfur atoms is shown in red, hydrogen atoms green, and oxygen in blue. The beautiful and useful result is still very different from what the eye might see. IC 1396 lies in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus.
Source:  NASA APOD