M16 Eagle Nebula

Field centered on R.A. 18h 20' & Dec. -13° 50'

Young star cluster M16 is surrounded by natal clouds of cosmic dust and glowing gas also known as The Eagle Nebula. This beautifully detailed image of the region includes fantastic shapes made famous in well-known Hubble Space Telescope close-ups of the starforming complex. Described as elephant trunks or Pillars of Creation, dense, dusty columns rising near the center are light-years in length but are gravitationally contracting to form stars. Energetic radiation from the cluster stars erodes material near the tips, eventually exposing the embedded new stars. Extending from the upper left edge of the nebula is another dusty starforming column known as the Fairy of Eagle Nebula. M16 and the Eagle Nebula lie about 7,000 light-years away, an easy target for binoculars or small telescopes in a nebula rich part of the sky toward the split constellation Serpens Cauda (the tail of the snake). Below is an enlargement of the "Pillars" area (text adapted from APOD).

This image was quite troublesome. Because of the high relative humidity, it was impossible to cool down the camera much below the ambient T because the formation of dew on the camera window. Therefore all subframes were taken at a very high chip temperature of + 10C!


Apo TEC140 (140/f7) + AP MACH1 FLI Microline 16803, binning 1x1, T=+10°C Ha (30m) R (30m) G (30m) B (30m) Astrodon Ha RGB filter set

Isola del Giglio, Grosseto, Italy





All of the photographs and text on these pages are copyrighted by Marco Lorenzi. They may not be reproduced, published, copied or transmitted in any form, including electronically on the Internet or World Wide Web, without written permission of the author.