Pictures of the Cocoon Nebula

Pictures of the Cocoon Nebula, also known as IC 5146, Caldwell 19 and Sh2-125, and facts about this beautiful, deep-sky cosmic cloud.

The Cocoon Nebula is about 15 lightyears wide and is located about 3,300 lightyears from Earth around the constellation Cygnus, the Swan.

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Embedded deep within the cosmic cloud is a cluster of newborn stars that are glowing bright and hot, emitting radiation that causes the surrounding gas to be illuminated and produce an emission nebula: a beautiful spectacle for both astrophotography and deep-sky astronomy.

Pictures of the Cocoon Nebula reveal a wonderfully poppy-like appearance, with a central star giving the nebula a floral resemblance. In fact, this central star is key to the nebulaic luminosity, and is probably as young as just a few hundred thousand years old: a veritable infant in cosmic terms!

The Cocoon Nebula is also known as Caldwell 19, among other designations, meaning it is part of the deep-sky Caldwell Catalogue conceived by the late astronomer Sir Patrick Moore, which makes it a favourite deep-sky object among fans of Patrick around the world.

Below are some of the best pictures of the Cocoon Nebula that we have received from readers and amateur astrophotographers of the years.

For astro imaging tutorials, read our astrophotography guides or discover our top tips on the best astrophotography cameras.

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If you would like to submit your own images, read our guide on how to send us your astrophotos. You can of course also share them with us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Cocoon Nebula by Martin Bailey, Gnosall, Staffs, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Martin Bailey, Gnosall, Staffs, UK. Equipment: Canon 1000D, Astronomik CLS Filter, Skywatcher 200 PDS, Metaguide.
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron c11 sct, skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount, Canon Eos 1100d self-modified and Astronomik CLS CCD clip filter.
Cocoon Nebula by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW 150P Newtonian, EQ5 GoTo Mount, QHY8L cooled ccd OSC camera.
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount & Equinox 80mm refractor, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik LRGB filters.
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: GSO 8″ Richey-Chretien Optical tube, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik LRGB filters.
Cocoon Nebula by Ian Russell, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Ian Russell, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, UK. Equipment: TS Photoline 130mm f/6.6 Triplet Super APO, iOptron CEM60 EC, Atik 490ex, Atik OAG, QHY5L II, PHD2
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount & Equinox 80mm refractor, Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik LRGB filters.
Cocoon Nebula by Ian Russell, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Ian Russell, Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, UK. Equipment: TS Optics Photoline 130 Super APO, iOptron CEM60 EC, Atik 490ex with Astrodon RGB filters, Atik OAG, QHY5L II, PHD2
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Celestron C11 Sct, Skywatcher NEQ6 pro mount,Atik 383L+ camera, motorised filter wheel and Astronomik filters. F6.3 focal reducer.
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Mark Griffith, Swindon, Wiltshire, UK. Equipment: Teleskop service 12″ Richey-Chretien telescope, Skywatcher EQ8 mount,Atik 383L+ camera, Astronomik LRGB filters, Hutech IDAS light pollution filter, Astro physics 0.67 reducer.
Cocoon Nebula by Terry Hancock, Western Michigan, USA.
Cocoon Nebula by Terry Hancock, Western Michigan, USA. Equipment: QHY16200A monochrome CCD cooled to -20C, Takahashi E-180 F2.8 Astrograph, Paramount GT-1100S German Equatorial Mount
Cocoon Nebula by Stephen Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Stephen Wilson, Middlesbrough, UK. Equipment: Altair Starwave 115 Triplet scope with Atik 314l+ camera and Baader LRGB filters, scope guided through a QHY5 using PHD.
Cocoon Nebula by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Bill McSorley, Leeds, UK. Equipment: SW 150P Newtonian on a HEQ5 Pro Mount, QHY8L cooled ccd camera.
Cocoon Nebula by Tim Coskun, Oxted, Surrey, UK.
Cocoon Nebula by Tim Coskun, Oxted, Surrey, UK. Equipment: TEC 140 (5.5 inch) refractor, Paramount MX, QSI 690 CCD, Lodestar guide.
Cocoon Nebula by Jeffrey O. Johnson, Las Cruces, NM USA.
Cocoon Nebula by Jeffrey O. Johnson, Las Cruces, NM USA. Equipment: Telescope Takahashi TOA-130F @ f/7.7, Mount Takahashi EM200 Temma II, Camera QSI 540wsg @ -15C, Filters Astrodon Ha (3nm), Astrodon Tru-Balance I-Series LRGB Gen 2, Guider SX Lodestar
Cocoon Nebula by Mario Richter, Finsterwalde, Germany.
Cocoon Nebula by Mario Richter, Finsterwalde, Germany. Equipment: Takahashi TSA 102Y/816, Sky Watcher EQ6 Sky Scan, AMP Image Master, Canon 60d mod, IDAS LPS D1 FILTER, ISO 500, 13x600sek