A gorgeous collection of dust and gas nebulae in the Northern Milky Way winds through the constellation of Cepheus. This close up of the region highlights stars embedded in curiously shaped cosmic clouds, the dark nebula near the center is sometimes called the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula. To me it looks more like a cosmic cyclops. Near the central faint (9th magnitude) star in the image, dust clouds reflect the starlight, creating a bluish reflection nebula cataloged in 1966 as VDB 142. The larger pipe-shaped structure is IC1396a. The area's bright reddish emission nebulae indicate the presence of clouds of atomic hydrogen gas. Stripped of electrons by invisible ultraviolet light, the hydrogen atoms emit their characteristic visible red light as electrons and atoms recombine. Sweptback clouds of obscuring dust, dark nebulae, are silhouetted against the bright background. (From APOD). This is a 5 hour exposure through RGB, luminance and a hydrogen-alpha filter to bring out the hydrogen clouds. Taken November 15 and 17, 2014. Click on the image for a larger view.