The Cocoon Nebula - IC 5146 and Barnard 168

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Location / Date

Zellerndorf, July - Sept 2021

Telescope / Mount / Guiding

ASA 10" Astrograph, ASA 3" Wynne-Corrector (focal length 910mm)
ASA DDM60, no guiding

Camera / Exposure

Moravian G3-16200
2 panel mosaic:
LUM 146 x 10min
R 40 x 5min, G 40 x 5min, B 52 x 5min (all bin2x2)
Hα 132 x 10min (bin2x2)

Total exposure time: 57h 20min


PixInsight, Fitswork, Photoshop


Inside the Cocoon Nebula is a newly developing cluster of stars. Cataloged as IC 5146, the beautiful nebula is nearly 15 light-years wide. Soaring high in northern summer night skies, it's located some 4,000 light years away toward the constellation Cygnus. Like other star forming regions, it stands out in red, glowing, hydrogen gas excited by young, hot stars, and dust-reflected starlight at the edge of an otherwise invisible molecular cloud. In fact, the bright star found near the center of this nebula is likely only a few hundred thousand years old, powering the nebular glow as it clears out a cavity in the molecular cloud's star forming dust and gas. (text from APOD)

The Cocoon Nebula is embedded at the end of long drawn dusty filaments of obscuring interstellar dust clouds, known as Barnard 168.

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