NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 8 June 2023: The amazing Elephant's Trunk Nebula | Tech News

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day 8 June 2023: The amazing Elephant's Trunk Nebula

Today’s NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula, located about 3000 light-years from Earth towards the constellation of Cepheus.

| Updated on: Jun 08 2023, 15:11 IST
Best NASA Astronomy Pictures of the Week: Messier 101, Dumbbell Nebula, and more
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NASA Elephant’s Trunk Nebula
2/5 Stellar Dumbbell Nebula (May 30) - Planetary nebula M27, also known as the Dumbbell Nebula, is located about 1360 light-years away towards the constellation of Vulpecula. The Dumbbell Nebula was the 27th object and the first ever planetary nebula discovered and catalogued by French astronomer Charles Messier in 1764, one of the most influential figures in the history of astronomy. (NASA/Patrick A. Cosgrove)
NASA Elephant’s Trunk Nebula
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NASA Elephant’s Trunk Nebula
4/5 Supernova Remnant Cassiopeia A (June 1) -  It is a snapshot of Cassiopeia A, a supernova remnant located about 11000 light-years from Earth towards the constellation of Cassiopeia. When a star explodes, the subsequent explosion which takes place, known as a Supernova, is the largest explosion to occur in space. According to NASA, a supernova happens when there is a change in the core, or center, of a star. A change can occur in two different ways, with both resulting in a supernova. (NASA/Hubble/CXC)
NASA Elephant’s Trunk Nebula
5/5 Pinwheel Galaxy Messier 101 (June 2) - In this image, Messier 101, also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy can be seen located about 25 million light-years away towards the Northern constellation of Ursa Major. Messier 101 is one of the last objects catalogued by Charles Messier and it is a massive pinwheel galaxy that spans about 170,000 light-years across. According to NASA, Messier 101 is also one of the first spiral nebulae to be observed by Lord Rosse's large 19th-century telescope, the Leviathan of Parsontown. (NASA/ESA/Hubble)
NASA Elephant’s Trunk Nebula
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This awesome snapshot, captured by Steve Cannistra, shows the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula. (Steve Cannistra)

Nebulas exist in the space between stars, known as the Interstellar space. In fact, there is a Nebula close to Earth which could possibly be the remnant of the dying star, according to NASA. It is called the Helix Nebula and is located approximately 700 light-years away from Earth. NASA captures the Nebulas with the help of its Spitzer Space Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope, and the new James Webb Space Telescope.

Today's NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day is the Elephant's Trunk Nebula, located about 3000 light-years from Earth towards the constellation of Cepheus. This nebula resides in a young star cluster, given the designation of IC 1396. According to NASA, it has a magnitude of 3.5 and is visible to the unaided eye as a faint patch on a completely dark night. Beneath the nebula are dark shapes known as The Caravan.

This awesome snapshot was captured by astrophotographer Steve Cannistra.

NASA's description of the picture

Like an illustration in a galactic Just So Story, the Elephant's Trunk Nebula winds through the emission region and young star cluster complex IC 1396, in the high and far off constellation of Cepheus. Seen on the left the cosmic elephant's trunk, also known as vdB 142, is over 20 light-years long. This detailed telescopic view features the bright swept-back ridges and pockets of cool interstellar dust and gas that abound in the region. But the dark, tendril-shaped clouds contain the raw material for star formation and hide protostars within.

Nearly 3,000 light-years distant, the relatively faint IC 1396 complex covers a large region on the sky, spanning over 5 degrees. This rendition spans a 1 degree wide field of view though, about the angular size of 2 full moons. Of course the dark shapes below and to the right of the outstretched Elephant's Trunk, are known to some as The Caravan.

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First Published Date: 08 Jun, 15:11 IST