In this remarkable infrared skyscape of interstellar
clouds adrift in the
high flying constellation Cygnus,
the eye is drawn to the Cocoon Nebula.
Also known as IC5146, the dusty star forming region
is shown in blue hues in
the Herschel Space Observatory
false color image,
at wavelengths more than 100 times longer than visible red
And while visible light images
Cocoon nebula at the end of
long dark nebula Barnard 168, Hershel's
finds the cosmic
Cocoon punctuating a trail of filamentary clouds of glowing dust.
The dusty filaments have widths that suggest they are formed as
shockwaves from exploding stars travel through the medium,
sweeping up and compressing the
dust and gas.
also indicate stars are forming along
the dusty filaments.
The Cocoon Nebula
itself is about 15 light-years wide and 4,000 light-years
SPIRE & PACS Consortia,
Doris Arzoumanian (CEA Saclay),