Object Type: Emission & Reflection Nebula
Scope: AP 5" Refractor
Exposure 180 minutes
The Cocoon nebula IC 5146 (also Caldwell 19, Sh 2-125, Barnard 168, and the Cocoon Nebula) is a reflection, emission nebula and Caldwell object in the constellation Cygnus. The NGC description refers to IC 5146 as a cluster of 9.5 mag stars involved in a bright and dark nebula. The cluster is about 4,000 ly away, and the central star that lights it formed about 100,000 years ago. The nebula is about 12 arcmins across, which is equivalent to a span of 15 light years.
When viewing IC 5146, dark nebula Barnard 168 (B168) is an inseparable part of the experience, forming a dark lane that surrounds the cluster and projects westward forming the appearance of a trail behind the Cocoon.