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Wildrik Botjes Planetarium
Physics & Astronomy Department

Astr111 Photography Projects, Fall 2005

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Cocoon Nebula, Ben Gandy

Cocoon Nebula

The image that is viewed above is an example of a nebula. A nebula is a cloud of gas or dust in interstellar space. Most nebulas are visible because they might glow, they might scatter light that is emitted from stars withing the cluster, or by blocking light from astronomical objects located behind them. This particular nebula is located about 4000 lights years away in the general direction of the constellation Cygnus.

In this particular image one can make out the different gases. It is possible to see different shades of red, pink, purple, blue. Right in the center of the nebula we see a cluster of stars which, in fact, make up alot of the emmission of light from the object. Radiation from the stars around and inside the nebula are responsible for some of the light being emmitted aswell. From the spanse of the gas and dust around the center star cluster one can also see that this is a very large object. Also one can get a sense of density from the thickness of dust in the top left area of the nebula, also seen in the bottom right area. The linear size of the obejct is 13 light years. Though this photo does not do justice one can definitely see the majesty of God in his creation of this heavenly body.

References:
http://www.astrosociety.org/education/publications/tnl/14/14.html

http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap021014.html

Right Ascension (J2000) 21:53:27
Declination (J2000) +47*17'52"
Filters used blue(B), green(V), and red(R)
Exposure time per filter 5x60 seconds in BVR
Date observed

October 7, 2005 (VR)
October 11, 2005 (B)