My evening began as it always does on a clear night at dusk. Having recently purchased a Tri Band filter from Altair, i thought its time to image a big nebula, so i picked a very well known one in Cepheus; IC 1396 – Elephant Trunk Nebula.
Everything lined up nicely for me, polar alignment seemed good, guiding was ticking along nicely, plate solving seemed to be behaving and i had nice round sharp stars.
I settled down and set the imaging plan off at 30 x 4 min light frames. As the frames uploaded to the laptop i checked every other one, not imaging a nebula before i didn’t know what to expect on the image. As you can imagine when all I could see what hundreds of stars and nothing else I did begin to wonder if I am wasting my time.
The anticipation of what i might have imaged got the better of me and I couldn’t wait until this morning to stack them. I loaded all the frames into DSS and let the programme do its thing. 20 mins later i have an image, and i could see some nebulosity. Too excited to try and sleep, at 2am in the morning I promptly started to edit, and the more i stretched and tweaked the settings the more I could see. I was delighted and I am happy to give you, my image of the Elephant Trunk Nebula. Clear Skies to all.