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IC 1396 is a large, primarily photographic emission nebula in the constellation Cepheus, which spans 170 x 140 arcmins on photographs. There is a scattered galactic star cluster superimposed on the nebula, which is designated by the same catalog number, 1396 in the Index Catalog. Its hot young stars of the spectral type O and B blast free their local environment, resulting in the dark inclusions which can be seen in photographs of the nebula. The faint red emission is difficult to detect visually, even in large aperture telescopes.
This photo shows only the central part of IC1396. Two prominent dark features are seen within this photo: Barnard 161, a dark nebula with a size of 13 x 3 arc minutes in the upper left part, and the combined structure of emission, reflection and dark nebulae called the "Elephant Trunk Nebula" or IC 1396A in the lower right part. This is an elongated dark cometary globule, a condensation of dense gas and dust, compressed by the surrounding ionized gas, which is barely surviving the strong ionizing radiation from the nearby massive stars. The bright southeastern rim of this feature is especially well defined. The dark nebula, which is designated LDN 1105, suggests the elephant-trunk shape, while vdB 142 refers to the tiny patch of reflection nebula around the 9th mag star HD 239710 near the elephant's snout.
IC 1396, Wright-Newtonian photograph.
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© 2010 Walter Koprolin