DSLR astrophotography by Sergi Verdugo
IC1396 and SH2 129
Exposure: 13×600″ @ ISO 800
Lens: Nikon Nikkor 180ED f2.8 @ f3.3
Filter: Hutech IDAS LPS P2 MFA
Mount: Skywatcher EQ6 Pro
Camera: Cooled Canon 1000D
Date: 30th September 2011
Location: Coll d’Ares, Àger (Lleida, Spain)
Comments: This is a field difficult to process, SH2 129 is very faint so the image needs to be stretched a lot to make it visible and the stars get bloated.
The emission nebula IC 1396, at the bottom left corner of the image, mixes glowing cosmic gas and dark dust clouds, it is located in constellation of Cepheus at some 3000 light years distant from the Earth and spans over hundreds of light-years, this is over three degrees on the sky. The nebula emits light because it is energized by a bright, bluish star located at the center of the nebula.
Among the dark shapes within IC 1396, the winding Elephant’s Trunk nebula lies just right from the center.
The yellowish brightest star, at the top of the nebula, is mu Cephei. It is a red supergiant star with a diameter larger than the orbit of Saturn, some 2536 times the diameter of the Sun. It is one of the largest stars known so far.
Sh2-129 is the very dim diffuse emission nebula also located in the constellation of Cepheus which can be observed at the top right corner of the image. The nebula is situated about 4 degrees west from IC 1396.