The Elephant Trunk Nebula is a concentration of interstellar dust and gases 2,400 light-years from Earth. The "trunk" structure meandering into the disc is a chamber lined with dense gases that are ionized by energy from a brightly glowing nearby star. This region is thought to be a star forming area and it contains several recently ignited stars (less than 10,000 years old). In this image, the gold color is hydrogen and sulfur, and the blue and cyan is oxygen. I blended the colors and values to reveal the complex, flowing architecture of chambers and passages that honeycomb this cloud of gasses and dust.
21.7 hours total exposure of ionized hydrogen, oxygen, and sulfur emissions