Cocoon Nebula

Cocoon Nebula (IC5146) is a beautiful nebula that is combination of an emission (pink) and reflection (blue) nebula. It has an apparent size of 12 arc minutes and is located at a distance of about 3,300 light years in the Cygnus constellation.

Much of the beauty of this nebula comes from the billowing clouds of gas and dust in the area, the raw material for star formation. Thus, the Cocoon is actually a young stellar “nursery”, spawning the hot, young, stars seen in this picture.  Like other stellar nurseries, the Cocoon Nebula is at the same time, an emission nebula, a reflection nebula, as well as an absorption nebula. You see the magenta/red of the ‘excited’ hydrogen gas excited by the hot young stars, as well as the bluish starlight reflected by the dust in the surrounding molecular cloud. 

I took this image for 710 minutes (11.8 hours – 9 image each of Red, blue and green colors of 10 minutes each and 22 images in Luminance of 20 minutes).

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