IC 5146 The Cocoon Nebula
Distance: 3,300 Light Years
Size: 12 Arc-minutes
Age: Approx. 1 million years
Telescope: Takahashi TOA-130
Camera: QSI 683
Mount: AP 900
Exposures: L 41×600 Bin 1, RGB 29×300 Bin 2, Ha 37×600 Bin 1
IC 5146, better known as the Cocoon Nebula, is an open star cluster surrounded by a combination of emission and reflection nebula in the constellation Cygnus. The source of illumination for this nebula is a young type BO star listed as GSC 3608:1446 and is at the center of the nebula. Most sources state an age of 100,000 years for this star. There are several hundred young stars in this cluster that are about 1,000,000 years old. The difference in age would indicate different stages of star development continuing to the present day.
The red regions are emission nebula illuminated primarily by the central star. The bluish regions are reflection nebula caused by visible light reflecting off dust in the area. The darker regions around the nebula and extending away from the nebula are separate dark nebula named Barnard 168. Barnard 168 is the home to many star forming regions. Many of these regions are in various states of development and as of 2008 there were approximately 200 YSO (Young Stellar Objects) candidates. This count was taken from a paper called “The Spitzer Survey of Interstellar Clouds in the Gould Belt. I. IC 5146 Observed with IRAC and MIPS”.
As a side note, this image was taken from my house in an orange zone.
Below is the Luminance Channel only:
IC 5146 Cocoon Nebula Luminance Channel