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.
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.