The Cocoon nebula floats like an island in the farthest reaches of space surrounded by an ocean of dark clouds. This image data was acquired on August 10th, 2013 in northern Ontario, Canada. Cottage country in the South Bruce Peninsula, along the shore of Lake Huron.
The Cocoon Nebula is located in the constellation of Cygnus (the swan) which is near overhead now for mid-latitude north america observers. Seasoned hobby astronomers will know the star, Deneb, is part of this constellation.
Also known as IC 5146 (also Caldwell 19 and Sh 2-125), it is a star forming region comprised of emission, reflection and absorption nebulae. It is these three types of gas clouds which give IC5146 it’s appearance of red, blue, and black regions.
The IC 5146 designation refers specifically to the nebula while Collinder 470 to the star cluster. It’s magnitude has been debated and is somewhere in the range of 7.2 to 10. The cluster component is about 4,000 lightyears away and the central star is estimated to have formed about 100,000 years ago and is the energy source for much of the emitted and reflected light from this nebula.
IC 5146 located near the open cluster NGC 7209 and the bright open cluster M39. The naked-eye star Pi Cygni is also located near the Cocoon Nebula. A distinctive part of the Cocoon Nebula is the dark nebula Barnard 168 (B168) which forms a lane of dark cloud not only surrounding the cluster but jetting off in a westerly direction forming the appearance of a tail or trail.
Total acquisition time of 100-minutes / 10min subs
Telescope: Orion Astrograph 10inch F3.9
Camera: Modified Canon 350D DSLR 8MP
Orion Starshoot autoguider, PHD and Nebulosity 3
Conditions: excellent transparency and seeing
Processing: No flats or darks. Processed in PixInsight and Photoshop
As always thanks for reading and #ClearSkies
My story began more than 40 years ago looking up at the Moon with a small telescope my Father had. Encouraged by my parents, who bought me my very own telescope, a 4.5″ reflector, I began to explore the night sky from my family home backyard. Today I do astrophotography from my home in Kitchener, Ontario and also with remote telescopes located in New Mexico and Australia. Some of my images have won awards and have been featured online and in magazines.