Object Data: M16 (NGC 6611), the Eagle Nebula is both an open star cluster and a large bright area of emission nebulosity. It is located in the south east corner of Serpens Cauda, close to the Scutum boundary. Within M16 are several complex star forming regions, the most noteworthy of which is variously referred to as the "Star Queen and her Throne" or the "Towering Pillars" (made famous by the HST image). Towards the centre in this photograph, it is a giant structure more than 6 light years from end to end. Another giant star forming region is the "elephant trunk" structure to the north east. M16 is about 7,000 light years distant and was probably first observed by the Swiss astronomer P.L. de Cheseaux in 1746. It was catalogued by Charles Messier in June 1764, who was also the first person to note the nebulosity surrounding the star cluster.
Location: Southern France
Conditions: Calm, moderate dew, transparency=8, seeing=8
Optics: Astro-Physics 155 EDF f/7 working at f/7
Mount: AP 900 GTO on Portable Pier
Camera: SBIG ST-8E / CFW-8
Guiding: Integral ST-8E autoguider
Exposure: Full Res RGB: 2x 30:30:48 minutes
Processing: Image acquisition and initial processing using Maxim DL, subsequent processing in RegiStar and Photoshop.
Notes: You may also see my earlier narrow field image of M16 here.