The famous Cocoon Nebula (IC5146) is thought to be between 3300 and 4000 light years away from Earth. Located in the constellation of Cygnus, it is about 15 light years in diameter. Also in this picture is Van den Bergh 147, which is the small bluish reflection nebula just to the lower right of the Cocoon. The Cocoon is actually a young stellar “nursery”, creating the hot, young, stars seen in its center. Like other stellar nurseries, the Cocoon Nebula is at the same time, an emission nebula, a reflection nebula, as well as an absorption nebula. There’s the red of the hydrogen gas excited by the hot stars, as well as the bluish starlight reflected by the dust in the surrounding molecular cloud. Also visible are the various dark molecular dust lanes in the region which vary from thin to deeply obscuring.
IC5146, the Cocoon Nebula
Telescope: 16″ f3.75 Dream Scope
Camera: FLI ML16803
Mount: ASA DDM85
Exposure: 12 hours (32x300s L + 3x26x300s RGB)
Date: July 2018
Location: Southern Alps, France