IC 5146 - The Cocoon Nebula in Cygnus


Copyright 2008 Hap Griffin

IC 5146, known as the Cocoon Nebula, is a beautiful region of hydrogen gas both reflecting the light (the blue regions) and being driven to glowing emission (the red regions) by the bright central star BD +463474.  The remaining dimmer stars within the nebula are stars of similar mass as our sun that have formed within but are much younger. 

IC 5146 lies at a distance of 3900 light-years.


Date/Location:    August 1, 2008   Griffin-Hunter Observatory near Bethune, SC
Instrument:    Canon 40D Digital SLR (modified)  through Orion 10" Newtonian w/ Baader MPCC
Focal Ratio:   F/4.7
Guiding:    Auto via SBIG ST-402 through Takahashi FS-102NSV Refractor
Conditions:    Warm and humid 
Weather:    75 F
Exposure: 225 minutes total (45 x 5 minutes @ ISO 800)
Filters:    Baader UV/IR block filter internal to camera
Processing:    Calibration, auto-alignment, stacking, Digital Development in ImagesPlus 3.50a .  Finished in Photoshop CS3.