The Elephant or “Lady” in the Room (2023 edition)

We were introduced to this beauty around this time last year in the Blow that Trumpet blog. Details of the nebula are included in that blog, but as a reminder, the Elephant Trunk Nebula or IC 1396 is located some 2,400 lights years away from Earth in the constellation of Cepheus. This 2023 edition begun with a stack of just over 4 hours of total integration time using a 3nm dual band filter. This active star-forming region got its name from the iconic dark nebula that resembles an elephant’s trunk. I would like to challenge that designation because I believe I see a lady that is startled by my gaze. Do you see her? 🙂 Until next time, remember to look up and experience an amazing Universe!

Gear: AA Hypercam 26C, Askar 80 PHQ, HEM27 mount, Optolong L-Ultimate; ZWO OAG + 120mc

Exif: 50 x 5-min lights; Gain 200, Offset 3, TEC @ 10 degrees; 20 darks,

SharpCap, PHD2; AstroPixelProcessor, PixInsight; Photoshop


  1. The elephant I see, but the lady … not so much 😕. Are you going to give those of us who are more elephant-inclined a hint of this lady’s location in a future blog???

    As always, very cool pics.

    1. 😊 that’s so funny… elephant-inclined. I like that. Ok here is what I see. A side profile with the lady apparently leaning over bar…with the top part full of hair and her butt is midway (this is all along the elephant trunk). Once you see it, you can’t unsee it 🙈. Let me know.

  2. Oh yeah, I definitely can see a figure or “lady” standing and draped in the mist. Very ethereal and mysterious! Nice job as usual Drex! Keep up the good work! I am always amazed and always enjoy what you come up with. And your descriptions are always very informative! Wishing you the best!

    1. Hey my friend. Yes you cannot under that lady once you have seen her 😊. Thank you for the kind words. Shooting has been very limited as there has been consistent cloudy nights over the months. This is quite extraordinary. Hopefully this ends soon and we can have cloudless nights. 😊

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