Skies By Africa

Images of the Heavens By Eric Africa

IC 5146, the Cocoon Nebula

IC 5146, the Cocoon Nebula
IC 5146, or the Cocoon Nebula, is also catalogued as Caldwell 19. The pink nebulosity is catalogued as Sharpless 125 (SH 2-125). Tne entire grouping is an emission and reflection cloud that surrounds the illuminating central star BD +46°3474. In the NGC catalog, this object is described as a cluster of 9.5 magnitude stars in a region of bright and dark nebulae. The star cluster is catalogued as Collinder 470.

Wider-field shots of this region easily show a dark nebula, Barnard 168, streaming away from the bright region like a dark trail, but this close-up shot only hints at the beginning of that dark nebulosity below and to the right. I have never seen this object visually myself, but this is a favorite target of a lot of imagers and I only got around to shooting this myself recently.

Sources: Wikipedia, Robert Gendler
Constellation: Cygnus
When Visible: July - December
Distance: 4,000 Light-years
Date: September - October 2015
Location: Rancho Hidalgo, Animas, NM
Exposure Details:
H-alpha: 19 x 30 minutes Binned 1 x 1
R: 12 x 10 minutes Binned 1 x 1
G: 12 x 10 minutes Binned 1 x 1
B: 12 x 10 minutes Binned 1 x 1

15.5 hours total exposure time
Equipment Used: 12.5" PlaneWave CDK on a Software Bisque Paramount ME mount. SBIG STL-6303 camera with 5-position filter wheel, AO-L Adaptive Optics Unit, Pyxis Rotator and Astrodon LRGB filters
Acquisition Software:  MaximDL, TheSky6, CCDAutopilot
Processing Software: MaximDL, Photoshop CS5, IrFanView