Home Page

Comets

Exo-Solar Planets

New Observatory

Novae and Supernovae

Spectroscopy

Variable Stars

Emulsion Film Page

Anatomy of a Supernova

Planets

Galaxies

Nebulae & Clusters

Old Observatory

Links, Lit., and Downloads

FTP Jump

WebCam Page

Nebula Image Gallery


The Eagle Nebula (catalogued as Messier 16 or M16, and as NGC 6611) is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens, discovered by Jean-Philippe de Cheseaux in 1745-46. Its name derives from its shape which resembles an eagle. 

Images made in 1995 by Jeff Hester and Paul Scowen using the Hubble Space Telescope greatly improved scientific understanding of processes inside the nebula. One of these, a famous photograph known as the "Pillars of Creation", depicts a large region of star formation. Its small dark areas are believed to be protostars. The pillar structure of the region resembles that of a much larger star formation region, imaged with the Spitzer Space Telescope in 2005, in Cassiopeia, which is designated W5 and has been dubbed the "Pillars of Creation".

Combinations of X-ray images from the Chandra observatory with Hubble's "Pillars" image have shown that X-ray sources (from young stars) do not coincide with the pillars, but instead randomly dot the area.  This suggests that star formation may have peaked approximately one million years ago in the Eagle Nebula and any protostars in the pillar's EGGs are not yet hot enough to emit X-rays.

In early 2007, scientists using the Spitzer discovered evidence that potentially indicates the Pillars were destroyed by a nearby supernova explosion about 6,000 years ago, but the light showing the new shape of the nebula will not reach Earth for another millennium.


 

Image Details

  Eagle Nebula in Ha Wavelength

Imaging Details
NCG Number:
6611

Common Name(s):
Eagle Nebula

Other Designations:
Messier 16

Object Type:
Emission Nbula

Object Class:
Nebula

Constellation:
Serpens

RA / 
18:18:48
Dec:
-13:49:00

Distance:
6500 light-yrs

Object Size:
~ 7 arcmin

Magnitude:
V 6.0
Date:
June 30, 2010


Location:
Auburn, IN  46706
(41° 18' 37.8" N, 85° 04' 21.6" W)


Equipment:
RC-16 2 f/8.5
SBIG ST11000M
Mathis MI-750 Fork Mount

Integrations:
Ha  :  33 min (4 x 500 sec)
     
     
     
     


Software:
Maxim/DL 4.57
 
Photoshop CS3