Cosmic Cocoon

Wise_wise2010-037_500

WISE_WISE2010-037 October 20th, 2010

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

The aptly named Cocoon nebula is featured in this image from NASAs Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. This cloud of dust and gas, cataloged as IC 5146 and located in the constellation Cygnus, is wrapped in a dark cloud of dust called Barnard 168. Within this cocoon of dust and gas, new stars are forming and beginning to emerge into the wild.

In the heart of the nebula, which looks surprisingly like a Valentines heart in WISE's view, massive new stars are emerging. The intense radiation from these stars heats up the cloud. The highest-energy light from the stars rips electrons from hydrogen atoms, which then recombine with the atoms and emit visible light.

Pictures of the Cocoon nebula taken with visible light see only the inner most part of this cloud glowing red and surrounded by an eerie darkness. That darkness appears as an absence of stars, but it is actually a dense cloud of dust obscuring stars behind it. This dense cloud is being heated by the young stars within. The dust absorbs the high-energy radiation from the newborn stars and then glows in infrared light, captured by WISE in this view. The dusty cocoon extends over 45 light-years across, which is more than three times larger than the inner, glowing portion of the nebula.

The colors used in this image represent specific wavelengths of infrared light. Blue and cyan represent light emitted at wavelengths of 3.4 and 4.6 microns, which is predominantly from stars. Green and red represent light from 12 and 22 microns, respectively, which is mostly emitted by dust.

Image Source: /image/WISE/WISE2010-037

Curator: Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Berkeley, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: Pulic Domain

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Cocoon Nebula Caldwell 19 IC 5146
Subject - Milky Way
Nebula » Type » Star Formation

Distance

Universescale1
3,300 light years
Wise_wise2010-037_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 21h 53m 17.4s
DEC = 47° 15’ 23.4”
Orientation
North is 106.3° CCW
Field of View
1.2 x 0.9 degrees
Constellation
Cygnus

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Arrow_left_blue WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 3.4 µm
Arrow_left_cyan WISE Infrared (Near-IR) 4.6 µm
Arrow_left_green WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 12.0 µm
Arrow_left_red WISE Infrared (Mid-IR) 22.0 µm
Spectrum_ir1
Arrow_top_blue
Arrow_top_cyan
Arrow_top_green
Arrow_top_red
Wise_wise2010-037_1280
×
ID
WISE2010-037
Subject Category
B.4.1.2.  
Subject Name
Cocoon Nebula, Caldwell 19, IC 5146
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
Lightyears
3,300
Redshift
-
Reference Url
/image/WISE/WISE2010-037
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
WISE, WISE, WISE, WISE
Instrument
Color Assignment
Blue, Cyan, Green, Red
Band
Infrared, Infrared, Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR, Mid-IR, Mid-IR
Central Wavelength
3400, 4600, 12000, 22000
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
328.3223381, 47.2565080
Reference Dimension
3124.0, 2325.0
Reference Pixel
1563.0, 1163.5
Scale
0.000381925, 0.00038192501
Rotation
106.27
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
WCS retrieved using CXCs PinpointWCS
Creator (Curator)
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
URL
http://wise.astro.ucla.edu
Name
Email
outreach@ssl.berkeley.edu
Telephone
Address
7 Gauss Way
City
Berkeley
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
94720
Country
USA
Rights
Pulic Domain
Publisher
Publisher ID
WISE
Resource ID
Resource URL
/image/WISE/WISE2010-037
Related Resources
Metadata Date
2011-08-05
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

 

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Universescalefull
3,300 light years