For a full size image click here.
Distance: 3,300 Light Years
Size: 12 Arc-minutes
Age: Approx. 1 million years
Camera: QSI 683
Mount: AP 1100
Exposures: L 30×300 Bin 1, RGB 30×150 Bin 2, Ha 12×600 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 and consists of LBN 424, LDN 1055, and VdB 147. 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”. Barnard 168 contains several objects from the Lynd’s Dark Nebula catalog. These are listed as LDN 1020, LDN 1024, LDN 1030, LDN 1031, LDN 1035, LDN 1040, LDN 1042, LDN 1045, and LDN 1052. These all form the long tail seen trailing away from the nebula.
As a side note, this image was taken from my house in an orange zone. I captured this object on September 13, 2015 and September 14, 2015 and the conditions were clear and dry. I managed to collect some nebulous regions to the bottom right of the frame but I am not sure what they are. There is also a faint nebulous region just above the Cocoon Nebula but I could not identify what it is called.