The Eagle Nebula (M16, NGC 6611)

All Images Copyright Steve Cannistra

Magnitude:  6.5
Size: 0.53 degrees
Distance: 7000 light years
RA: 18h 18m 50s
Dec: 13 degrees 50' 10"

The Eagle Nebula is a large, beautiful emission nebula made famous by the "Pillars of Creation" image from the Hubble Space Telescope.   Three central pillars of gas can be seen in the above photograph, although not with the kind of detail provided by Hubble.  Stars are being created within the pillars, as a result of gravitational attraction of hydrogen gas, giving rise to the faint glow at the pillar tips that you can see in the above photograph.   The red glow of this emission nebula is due to excitation of hydrogen atoms from radiation emitted by newly-formed stars.

Photographic Details:

Date:  July 30, 2003
Scope:  LX90 at f5, Lumicon OAG
Autoguider:  SBIG STV with e-finder
Camera:  Canon 10D
Filter:  IDAS LPS
Exposures:  5 x 10' each at ISO800
Conditions:  Temperature 75 degress F; average transparency; average to poor seeing; wind moderate.
Post-processing:  Raw conversion, adaptive dark frame subtraction, averaging, and background compensation done in ImagesPlus; alignment done in Registar; levels and curves adjustment in Photoshop, with selective noise reduction of the red channel done in Pleiades SGBNR software.

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