Tag: IC1396

IC1396 Elephant Trunk Nebula

I have a new toy. Motivated by a quite bad experience with ASKAR 180 FMA and its chromatic aberration I started to search for a better pocket-size telescope. To decide which one was quite simple. I would say there is nothing sharper and nothing with a better reputation than William Optics RedCat 51mm. The detailed comparison with ASKAR will come a bit later. This is the first light, where I tested the portable setup – iOptron Skyguider on a tripod, Canon 6Da, and the RedCat. The Moon was shining like crazy, therefore I attached the dual narrow band filter Optolong L-eXtreme filter. After 3 hours of collecting the filtrated photons, a pretty nice picture came out of it. I took this DSO using the same camera combined with the ASKAR 180FMA (link) but in broadband. Therefore, it’s like comparing apples and oranges. However, the RedCat looks much sharper and it contains more details. I cannot wait to test the RedCat under dark skies.

TelescopeWilliam Optics RedCat 51/250 f4.9
Aperture51 mm
Focal length250 mm
MountiOptron SkyGuider Pro
AutoguidingZWO 174MM, TS 60/240 mm
CameraCanon 6Da
FiltersOptolong L-eXtreme 2"
Exposure62x180s, Iso 1600

IC1396 Elephant’s Trunk nebula

Elephant’s Trunk nebula is an emission nebula located in constellation Cepheus. I tried to capture this magnificent nebula in 2017 and in 2018, but it never fit in the field of view of my camera-telescope assembly. This time I used a focal length of only 180 mm, combined with a large full-frame sensor. Well, and finally it fits. Moreover, even the B174 dark nebula at the bottom left corner found the spot on the sensor. The picture was taken under a very dark Cretan sky.

Technical details:

LensAskar FMA180 F4.5
CameraCanon EOS 6Da
MountiOptron Skyguider Pro
Exposure159x120s, ISO 1600

IC1396 Elephant’s Trunk nebula

IC 1396 is a mixture of ionized interstellar gas and dust cloud located in the constellation Cepheus, approximately 2’400 light-years from earth. Due to relative proximity of the nebula, it didn’t fit into the field of view of my telescope/camera. My previous picture, which I captured by the same telescope, was created by using focal reducer and therefore nearly fit into the field of view of even smaller CCD chip. However, under dark skies of Milos, there is no need to use narrow band filters and very nice dark nebulae are nicely visible.

Technical details:

TelescopeNewton 150/600 mm
Aperture150 mm
Focal length660 mm
MountiOptron CEM25P
AutoguidingQHYCCD miniGuideScope 130 mm f/4.3, ZWO 174 MM
CameraZWO 071 Pro @-10C
CorrectorExplore Scientific HR coma corrector
FiltersAstronomik L-1 - UV IR Block Filter
Exposure53x180s, Gain 134, bin 1x1,

IC1396 Elephant trunk nebula

Elephant trunk nebula is visually one of the biggest deep space objects in the sky. It covers more than 6 times the diameter of the Moon. I had to use the telescope with the shortest focal length and use focal reducer ASA 0.73. Recently, I managed to improve the picture quality of this reducer by adjustment of the tilt. The nebula can be located in constellation Cepheus, but it cannot be spotted visually because it’s very dim.

I spent 4 nights capturing these photos. In total, there is nearly 19 hours of exposure time. Probably this is my longest integration time I have ever made. The first picture is in fake Hubble colors, second one in more or less visible spectrum colors.


Technical details

Telescope:Newton 150/600 mm
Aperture:150 mm
Focal length:438 mm
MountGemini G53f
AutoguidingOrion Mini Autoguider
Camera:Moravian instruments G2 8300M @-30C
Corrector:ASA 0.73 reducer
Filters:Baader narrow band
Exposure:8x125xHa, 125xOIII, 125xSII 180 s, bin 1x1,