Detail View: NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day Collection: The Elephant's Trunk in IC 1396

Title: 
The Elephant's Trunk in IC 1396
Explanation: 
Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story [ http://www.boop.org/jan/justso/ ], the Elephant's Trunk Nebula winds through the emission nebula and young star cluster complex IC 1396 [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap050908.html ], in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus [ http://www.astropix.com/HTML/E_SUM_N/CEPHEUSO.HTM ]. Of course, this cosmic elephant's trunk is over 20 light-years long. The false-color [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060324.html ] view was recorded through narrow band filters that transmit the light from hydrogen (in green), sulfur (in red), and oxygen (in blue) atoms [ http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr162/lect/light/ absorption.html ] in the region. The resulting composite highlights the bright swept-back ridges that outline pockets of cool interstellar [ http://www-ssg.sr.unh.edu/ism/what1.html ] dust and gas. Such embedded, dark, tendril-shaped clouds [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap070218.html ] contain the raw material for star formation [ http://archive.ncsa.uiuc.edu/Cyberia/Bima/ StarForm.html ] and hide protostars within [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap050409.html ] the obscuring cosmic dust. Nearly 3,000 light-years distant [ http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/cosmic/ cosmic.html ], the relatively faint IC 1396 complex [ http://adsabs.harvard.edu/cgi-bin/nph-bib_query? bibcode=1996A%26A...309..581W&db_key=AST&high=3af6c03e8102807 ] 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 [ http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap061228.html ] of the Full Moon.
Credit and Copyright: 
//antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/lib/about_apod.html#srapply">Copyright: Brian Lula [ http://www.heavensgloryobservatory.com/ ]
facet_where: 
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
facet_what: 
Cepheus
original url: 
http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap071018.html
UID: 
SPD-APOD-ap071018