The Elephant’s Trunk nebula, formally known as IC1396A, is a cloud of gas and dust located 2400 light years from Earth in the constellation Cepheus. The Elephant Trunk is part of a larger region of ionized gas illuminated by a nearby massive O-type star (located outside the image to the left). Radiation and winds from this hot star compress and ionize the edges of cloud, resulting in the bright “ionization fronts” seen in this image.
"In space the stars are not nearer, just glitters like a morgue." ~Most of the starlight we see, comes from stars and galaxies which have already died. "The whole sky could be black, and we would not even begin to realize it for another four years." ~ A nuclear physicist
The Earth at Night - Nothing demonstrates population and wealth like the warm glow of cheap electricity from space. Also, check out the Russian equivalent of manifest destiny...not quite as comprehensive as the American version, but then California is a lot nicer than Siberia.