The Cocoon Nebula

The other target I captured at the Golden State Star Party is the Cocoon Nebula (IC5146), which is, coincidentally, somewhat similar to the Trifid Nebula in appearance and structure.  The red portion is emission nebula, but the faint blue and brown regions are reflection nebula.  The Cocoon is in the constellation Cygnus, so much higher in the sky than Trifid.  Although it was nice to be able to photograph objects farther south, I wanted to get at least 1 target that was not so close to the horizon and the blurring that happens down there.  There was still a fair amount of atmospheric turbulence, but definitely better than it was for Trifid.  Below is a tight crop of the bright part:

There is a lot of star formation happening in this nebula, and young stars are typically very hot and blue, which is why we see a lot of diffuse blue light reflecting off the dust.

And speaking of dust, the dark lane that trails off to the lower left in the first photo is associated with the Cocoon, and is part of the star formation process.

This week is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission that put the first human on the Moon, and there are many celebrations going on.  This Saturday, July 20th, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is hosting “Space Day” – the 50th anniversary of the actual Moon landing.  I will be there as a vendor from 9:30AM to 5PM, showing my astrophotos.  And, of course, the inventory clearance sale continues with huge discounts on my backlit film (BLF) prints.  The images below are still available as framed, ready-to-go prints:I also have many more images printed on film, but not framed.  These are just $5 to $10, but you will need to come up with your own way of illuminating them, as I don’t have any more backlit frames (beyond the finished ones shown above).

There will be many other exhibitors there, and OMSI will also be showing movies in the Empirical Theatre, including “Apollo 11”, which I saw recently and highly recommend.  For more information, click here:

About Greg Marshall

I am a retired electronics engineer and after a few months of enjoying my leisure I began to miss doing product development. My astronomy hobby always needed new solutions to unique problems, so I decided that whenever I came up with a good solution I would try to make it available to others.

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