Cocoon Nebula

The Cocoon Nebula, cataloged as IC 5146, is a strikingly beautiful nebula located about 4,000 light years away toward the constellation of Cygnus. Inside the Cocoon is a newly developing open cluster of stars. Like other stellar nurseries, the Cocoon Nebula is, at the same time, an emission nebula, a reflection nebula, and an absorption nebula. Speculation based on recent measurements holds that the massive star in the center of the above nebula opened a hole in an existing molecular cloud through which much of the glowing material flows. The Cocoon is located at the end of a long dark nebule B168, which can be seen from the center to the top left in this image. This photo, taken on October 18, is a 4.5 hour LRGB composite, using the Takahashi FSQ-106 refractor, and the STL11000m CCD camera. 



All images © Mel Martin 2017     Contact Me