The Cocoon Nebula in Cygnus

Star Explodes...No One Injured

This is the Cocoon Nebula in Cygnus. This is the summation of 6 x 10 minute images taken in the Ha band. Known as an Emission Nebula, the hydrogen gas in this area is energized by the central star, which cause it to glow in a vary narrow part of the spectrum centered at 656 nm. This is known as the Hydrogen alpha [or Ha] band. The hydrogen gas in this area was most likely caused by the explosion of a star(s) long ago. The explosion peppered the area with the hydrogen gas and the nearby stars make it glow. Because this nebula is quite old, it is now a place for the formation for new stars. This condition is known as a Stellar Nursery. Several stars have already formed in this cluster. Since the new stars in the cluster are all the same age [also the same color] we can calculate the distance to the Cocoon Nebula very accurately. The distance is 3,900 light years from earth.

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