At the beginning of August, the weather often shows its best side. The nights are already noticeably longer. So it is time again to sacrifice some hours of sleep for the dear hobby and to change it for an experience of the special kind. Tonight my journey goes to the Trunk Nebula which is located in the middle of the extended emission nebula IC1396.
The Trunk Nebula, also known by its catalog designation IC 1396A, is a brightly edged globule, or collection of interstellar gas and dust, in the constellation Cepheus. The term globule, used for the Nebula, is used in astronomy to describe spatially confined portions of molecular clouds where star formation occurs. Globules appear as dark patches from the background of an emission nebula or against the background of stars. Then protostars inside a globule become more and more condensed until they are hot enough for nuclear fusion. The globule is about 2400 lightyears away from Earth and with an apparent brightness of about 9.7 it is not very bright. It’s amazing what today’s technology with cooled color cameras can bring to light in a few hours. One experiences a time travel into a world, which puts one within shortest time into sheer astonishment. With the gained impressions of the past night I sink into humility, but I am also very grateful to be allowed to live on our tiny and unique planet.
The nebula was exposed on 06.08.2022 with 26 frames a 5 min. A 10 inch Lacerta Newton F 4.7, a Zwo-Asi color camera 2600 MC Pro and an Optolong L-Extreme Dual narrowband filter were used.
Text and image: Ralf Schmidt