• Ville Miettinen

The Elephant's Trunk Nebula

This menacing figure is a concentration of gas and dust 2400 light-year's away in the constellation of Cepheus. It is named as The Elephant's Trunk Nebula due to its appearance in visible light. It is part of a much larger region of ionized gas called IC 1396, which spans the diameter of the moon by over six times in the sky. These kind of dark nebulosities are called "cometary globules" as the dust is being blown away by the stellar winds of a massive star (HD 206267) they leave a tail of dust behind them, slowly erroding away to interstellar space. The globules are also a source of star formation, as the rim is being compressed by the intense radiation it also causes more and more protostars to form within the nebulosity - youngest stars in the Elephant's Trunk Nebula are less than 100 000 years old.