Mar 28, 2008

Beautiful Cocoon Nebula

The Cocoon Nebula, named as IC 5146, is a strikingly beautiful nebula located about 4,000 light years away toward the constellation of the Swan (Cygnus). Inside the Cocoon Nebula is a newly developing open cluster of stars. Like other stellar nurseries, the Cocoon Nebula holds, at the same time, a bright red emission nebula, blue reflection nebulas, and dark absorption nebulas. These three processes create a host of colors.

In the above image taken recently by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) in Hawaii, USA, you can see the beautiful colors of the Cocoon Nebula. The massive star towards the left of the picture opened a hole in an existing molecular cloud through which much of the glowing material flows. This star was formed about 100,000 years ago and now it provides the energy source for much of the emitted and reflected light from the Cocoon Nebula. Take a look at another photo of the beautiful nebula. Source: NASA


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