The Elephant Trunk nebula comprises the emission nebula and the cluster of young stars IC 1396, in the high and distant constellation of Cepheus.
Brilliant undulations make up the suggestive form, outlining bags of dust and interstellar gas. This type of dark comet-shaped clouds contain the basic material for the formation of stars. About 3,000 light years away, the relatively faint set of IC1396 encompasses a much longer region of the sky than shown here, with an apparent amplitude of more than 10 moons.
This foreground is an exquisite color mosaic of two digital images taken to encompass the cosmic tube of insatiable curiosity.
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