The Cocoon Nebula (IC 5146) is a medium-bright open cluster on the border of the constellations Lacerta and Cygnus that sits in a nest of reflection and emission nebulae. Due to its young age it appears as a relatively compact, small area, its extent is only 15 light years, its age is only a few hundred thousand years. There are dark dust mists in its wider surroundings, with a very faint H alpha twilight in the background what can only be detect with a suitable camera and filter.
The Coccon Nebula is a relatively frequently photographed object, however, it is rarely among the photographed targets these days. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that the “cocoon” that promises bright, more exciting details is relatively small in the field of view of the more common scopes, and it takes an extremely long time to collect the raw materials to work out the faint dust lanein the wider surroundings. Although I didn’t know we were going to get an extraordinary amount of clear weather this fall, I stared to collect the frames. Then, after about 40 hours, it turned out that the problem wouldn’t be whether I could take enough photos of the area (I could even do a few hours in December), but that it wasn’t worth it after all that time. This is because the star field is so dense that the details I want to show are completely obscured, the medium-bright stars touch each other, and their halo makes the image completely uncontrasted. I had an idea of what kind of view I wanted to achieve, as quite a variety of shapes and colors of dust layer loomed between the stars, but I couldn’t process it as spectacularly as I had planned. In any case, I might have managed to go deeper, to show this area a little differently than before.
Scope: 200/800 SkyWatcher Newton
Mount: SkyWatcher NEQ6 pro upgraded
Guiding: Ekos Internal
Camera: Moravian G3 16200 Mark II
Expo: L: 14,5 hours, RGB: 14,5 hours, Ha: 9,5 hours
Date: 2021 augus – september
Location: Törökkoppány, Halásztelek