IC 1396 – Elephant’s Trunk



This lovely expanse is known as IC 1396, an emission nebula that contains numerous stellar nurseries – clumps of dust and gas where new proto-stars are being produced. When a young star is born, it begins to emit radiation, similar to our own star’s solar wind. This stellar wind clears away any debris from the immediate vicinity of the new star, forming rounded cavities in the surrounding material. An example of this activity can clearly be seen just below the center of the image, in an area called the Elephant’s Trunk.