2400 light-years

The Elephant Trunk Nebula is located inside the larger nebula known as IC 1396 in the constellation Cepheus (the king). The Elephant Trunk contains a small but bright nebula within the central dark region. The dim clouds are dust and gas enshrouding young stars as they are forming. One day, these clouds will be swept away by powerful radiation from these infant stars.

Credit: Mischa Schirmer.