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.

View high resolution image here

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

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