Hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Cygnus (Cyg)  ·  Contains:  B168  ·  Cocoon Nebula  ·  Cocoon nebula  ·  IC 5146  ·  IC5146  ·  Sh2-125  ·  VdB147
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IC5146 - The Cocoon Nebula, 


            Patrick Cosgrove
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IC5146 - The Cocoon Nebula

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
IC5146 - The Cocoon Nebula, 


            Patrick Cosgrove
Powered byPixInsight

IC5146 - The Cocoon Nebula

Imaging telescopes or lenses: William Optics FLT 132 Triplet APO f/7

Imaging cameras: ZWO ASI294CC Pro

Mounts: iOptron Cem60

Guiding telescopes or lenses: William Optics 50mm Guidescope

Guiding cameras: ZWO 290MM Mini

Software: phd2  ·  IDEIKI Astro Photography tool

Filters: Optolong UV-IR Cut Filter

Accessory: Pegasus Astro FocusCube 2  ·  QHYCCD Polemaster

Dates:Aug. 20, 2020

Frames: 179x150" (7h 27' 30")

Integration: 7h 27' 30"

Avg. Moon age: 1.57 days

Avg. Moon phase: 2.75%

Astrometry.net job: 3789435

RA center: 21h 51' 37"

DEC center: +47° 22' 32"

Pixel scale: 1.047 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 175.563 degrees

Field radius: 0.716 degrees

Resolution: 4084x2750

Locations: Home Observatory (My Driveway), HONEOYE FALLS, NY, United States

Data source: Backyard


IC5146 - The Cocoon Nebula

Located 4000 light years from Earth, IC 5146 - better known as the Cocoon Nebula, is an area of both bright and dark nebulae in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan. The red portion is due to light shining from hydrogen emissions while the blue portions of the nebula consist of dust reflecting the light young hot blue stars. At the core of the nebula is a bright star that only formed about a 100,000 years ago. The shell of gas is about 15 light years across. Also seen is a dark lane of dust that appears to project from the main nebula towards the west. This dark object is an obscuring cloud of dust known as Barnard 168. To me if almost looks as if the dark cloud is emanating from and trailing the Crescent Nebula - I like the effect!

I composed this shot during the day to put the Crescent in the corner of the frame and include the dark lane diagonally across the frame. Platesolving and automated camera rotation allowed the scope to precisely frame this image for the shot.

Since I was going after the dark cloud, I knew that I would need a lot of exposure time to bring this out. This image is the result of 179 exposures of 150 seconds each - for a total exposure time of almost 8 hours! This is my longest exposure integration to date.

Details of the Image:

179 x 150 second exposures

50 x 2 second Bias exposures

25 x 120 second Dark Calibration exposures

50 Flat Cal exposures

Scope: William Optics 132mm FLT F/7 APO

Guide Scope: Apterna 60mm

Camera: ZWO ASI294MC-Pro

Guide Camera: ZWO ASI290Mini

Focus Motor: Pegasus Astro Focus Cube 2

Field Rotator: Pegasus Astro Falcon

Mount: Ioptron CEM60

Polar Alignment: Ioptron Ipolar integrated alignment cameras

Capture Software: PHD2 Guider, Sequence Generator Pro controller

Image Processing: Deepsky Stacker, Pixinsight, Photoshop



  • IC5146 - The Cocoon Nebula, 


            Patrick Cosgrove
  • Final
    IC5146 - The Cocoon Nebula, 


            Patrick Cosgrove


Description: I did a little more work on this, inspired by Gary Optiz, who suggested masking the blue around around the main nebula and enhancing the saturation of that area.

Uploaded: ...

Sky plot

Sky plot


IC5146 - The Cocoon Nebula, 


            Patrick Cosgrove