The Cocoon Nebula
Index Catalogue: IC 5146
Constellation: Cygnus - The Swan

We find another interesting nebula with embedded stars about 3000 light years away in the northern part of the summer milky way. This time, the nebula is a molecular cloud emitting a mixture from light from ionized glowing gas on the one hand and star light reflected from interstellar dust on the other. In addition, we find an extended complex of dark nebulae around it that blocks the light from the stars behind.

The nebula is a region of vigorous star formation and was discovered by Edward Barnard, who is well known within the astronomical society for the catalog of dark nebulae he put together. The band of dust clouds that stretches to the right of the picture has is registered as "Barnard 168". The loose embedded star cluster is cataloged as "Collinder 470" and is a rather young example for this class of astronomical objects.

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