A gorgeous collection of dust and gas nebulae in the Northern Milky Way graces the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. This close up of the region highlights stars embedded in curiously shaped cosmic clouds. The area's bright red emission nebulae indicate the presence of clouds of atomic hydrogen gas. Sweptback clouds of obscuring dust, dark nebulae, are silhouetted against the bright background. Representing the stuff stars are made of, all these nebulae lie within the large young star cluster complex IC 1396, 3,000 light years from Earth. (From APOD) This image is 8.5 hours of h-alpha exposure under a nearly full moon on October 10-13, 2011. On October 16 I was able to get 90 minutes of color and 90 minutes of luminance. This nebula is often called the Elephant's Trunk, but I think it looks a bit more like a cyclops or one-eyed robot from a science fiction thriller. I also did a wide image of the area in 2008 that shows the surrounding large nebula IC1396, altho the orientation of the image is slightly different. Click on the image to see more detail.