M16 - Eagle Nebula (IC 4703, NGC 6611), starforming Emission Nebula (Pillars of Creation) with Open Star Cluster, in Serpens (Cauda)

SHO + HHOO combination (Click for a larger view 1800 x 1800 px)


Ha - channel (Click for a larger view 1800 x 1800 px)


SHO + HHOO combination - Pillars of Creation crop (Click for a larger view 1200 x 1200 px)



M16 - Eagle Nebula (IC 4703, NGC 6611), starforming Emission Nebula (Pillars of Creation) with Open Star Cluster, in Serpens (Cauda)

Cluster M16 (NGC 6611) discovered by Philippe Loys de Chéseaux in 1745-6.
Nebula M16 (IC 4703) discovered by Charles Messier in 1764.

The Eagle Nebula (M16) is a region of active star formation, situated in Serpens Cauda. The starforming nebula, a giant cloud of interstellar gas and dust, has already created a considerable cluster of young stars. The cluster is also referred to as NGC 6611, the nebula as IC 4703. 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 (the Sagittarius or Sagittarius-Carina Arm). Open star cluster M16 has formed from this great gaseous and dusty cloud, the diffuse Eagle Nebula IC 4703, which is now caused to shine by emission light, excited by the high-energy radiation of its massive hot, young stars.

The Pillars of Creation - the dark pillar-like structures are actually columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust that are also incubators for new stars. The pillars protrude from the interior wall of a dark molecular cloud. The pillars, it is especially dense clouds of molecular hydrogen gas and dust that have survived longer than their surroundings in the face of a flood of ultraviolet light from hot, massive newborn stars. This process is called "photoevaporation". This ultraviolet light is also responsible for illuminating the convoluted surfaces of the columns and the ghostly streamers of gas boiling away from their surfaces, producing the dramatic visual effects that highlight the three-dimensional nature of the clouds. The tallest pillar (left) is about 4 light-years long from base to tip.

North is up. The Horizontal FOV is about 32'. The image almost centered at:

Right Ascension 18 : 18.8 (h:m)
Declination -13 : 47 (deg:m)
Distance 7.0 (kly)
Brightness 6.4 (mag)
Apparent Dimension

8 (arc min)

Seeing: Pickering 7 rating - Good
Optic(s): RC 12" with Astro-Physics corrector @ f/5.4
Mount: ASA DDM85 Premium
Camera: ATIK 4000 - monochrome CCD – 2048 x 2048 px ; 16x16 mm; 7.4 µm x 7.4 µm
Filters: Astronomics Ha, OIII, SII set, SupaSlim TrueTechnology Computerized Filter Wheel
Dates/Times: 2012-07-20
Location: Rozhen Observatory, BG, longitude: E 24 44' 18", latitude: N 41 41' 42"
Exposure Details:

Ha = 100 min, OIII = 50 min, SII = 50 min, (Bin 1), Subexposures = 10 min, Total Exposure Time - 200 min

More details: Dark and flat frames reduction
Guiding: All subexposures are unguided thanks to ASA DDM85 Premium mount

PixInsight / PS


All Contents copyright Velimir Popov unless otherwise noted.