Eagle Nebula (M 16)


clic for 42% size 1638 x 1122 (460 kB)

clic here for 70% size 2370 x 1870 (1200 kB)


clic for 42% size 1638 x 1122 in H-alpha (278 kB)

clic here for 70% size 2370 x 1870 in H-alpha (690 kB)

About this Image

Lying some 7,000 light years distant in the constellation Serpens, close to the borders to Scutum and Sagittarius, and in the next inner spiral arm of the Milky Way galaxy from us a massive cloud of interstellar gas and dust has entered a vivid process of star formation.

The open star cluster M16 has formed from this great gaseous and dusty cloud, the diffuse Eagle Nebula itself is designated as IC 4703. It is now caused to shine by emission light, excited by the high-energy radiation of its massive hot, young stars. It is actually still in the process of forming new stars, this formation taking place near the darker "elephant trunks" which are visible towards the center of the image.
North is up.

Compare an infrared image from the ESO: 1.
Compare the famous image from the HST: 2.
Compare a second close-up from the HST: 3.

Checkout a wider version in mapped color here.

Technical Details


20 " Keller cassegrain in corrected secondary focus at f/9

Mount Liebscher GEM
Camera SBIG STL-11000M at -20C, 8-pos STL filter wheel
Filters Baader RGB, H-alpha, (7 nm)
Date May 05/08, 2008.
Location IAS/Hakos Namibia
Sky Conditions dark skies, raw FWHM 1.7-2.2" temperature 10 C,
Exposure R:G:B = 30:30:30 minutes (10-minute sub-exposures); synthetic luminance used;
Ha: 3 x 30 min subexposures;
all 1x1.
Programs used Maxim DL 4.5;
Photoshop CS3