Elephant’s Trunk Nebula by Kimberly and Laurie Sibbald

Photo of the Week for November 1, 2019

Big things are possible with smaller scopes.

Using an Orion ED80 telescope with a Celestron AVX mount and a ZWOASI1600MM Pro camera, Kimberly and Laurie Sibbald managed to show in stark contrast the dust and darkness in the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula. Located in the region IC1396 in the constellation Cepheus, the nebula is a staggering 2,400 light years away from Earth.

As one of our judges said, noting the 80-millimetre telescope, “It’s well done.”

The astrophotographing pair said this particular image was captured over the Canada Day long weekend 2019 from Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta.

They also said this was their first attempt at this target, and that particular weekend was a challenge as the nights are so short and astronomical twilight does not exist at their latitude.

“This target was one of our early narrow band targets, as we recently purchased a monochrome camera,” they said. “Narrow banding with a monochrome camera has produced good results for us with challenging light conditions.”

To take this image, the Sibbalds used a 9 x 360 sec Ha filter, 9 x 360 sec OIII filter and 8 x 360 sec SII filter. It was processed with PixInsight using the Hubble palette and Photoshop.

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