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Astr110 Photography Projects, Fall 2006

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Cocoon Nebula, Christine Meyaard

Cocoon Nebula

The Cocoon Nebula is located about 4000 light years away, near the end of the dark nebula in Cygnus. The Cocoon is very faint and gets its name from the faint and hazy nebulosity which surrounds the central, pink nebula. It is a region of forming stars and has three major types of nebulosity: emission, reflection and absorption. The nebula itself is made up of an open star cluster which is made up of 20 major stars. The nebula itself is very faint and difficult to see with a telescope.

The gas clouds around the nebula show red, blue and black regions that make up the nebula. The red regions are energized hydrogen and centered around the middle star. The blue areas are dust behind the nebula and is reflecting the emitted light back at the nebula. The black areas are dust in front of the nebula, illuminated from behind. The large star within the Cocoon is likely responsible for the surrounding hydrogen to emit in Ha light. The star is roughly 100,000 years old and is the primary energy source for a majority of the emitted and reflected light in the nebula. The linear size of the cocoon nebula is 8.14 light years and its angular size is 420 arc seconds.


Cannistra, Steve. Cocoon Nebula. Starry Wonders. <http://www.starrywonders.com/cocoon.html>

Cuillandre, Jean-Charles. IC 5146: The Cocoon Nebula.

Downing, Paul and Liz. Nebulae.


Right Ascension (J2000) 21:53:24
Declination (J2000) +47:16:00
Filters used blue(B), green(V), red(R), and clear(C)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in B, 10x300 seconds in CVR
Date observed

October 13, 2006 (CBVR)