Part of the large molecular cloud known as the Cepheus Bubble, IC 1396 is an HII region of star formation. The nebula is visually quite large, spanning three degrees in our nighttime sky. The entire nebula is illuminated by the hot blue supergiant at the center of the nebula. Within the nebula is IC 1396A – the Elephant Trunk Nebula (upper side of the nebula in this image). The nebula also contains numerous comet shaped Bok globules – the dark nebulae scattered throughout the field of view. The bright yellow star on the left of the nebula is the yellow supergiant, Mu Cephei. It is believed to be one of the intrinsically brightest stars in our galaxy.
SPONLI is a project about astrophotography, for amateur astronomers.