Home / Observing Programme / Messier / M16


The Eagle Nebula (also known as Messier Object 16, M16 or NGC 6611), perhaps one of the most famous and easily recognized space objects, is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens, discovered by Jean-Philippe de Cheseaux in 1745-46. It is associated with a diffuse emission nebula, or H II region, which is catalogued as IC 4703. This region of active current star formation is about 7,000 light-years distant. The brightest star in the nebula has an apparent magnitude of 8.24, easily visible with good binoculars.
Images made in 1995 by the Hubble Space Telescope greatly improved our understanding of processes inside the nebula. The region of the Eagle Nebula known as the "Pillars of Creation" is a large region of star formation. Its small dark areas are believed to be protostars. The pillar structure of the region resembles that of another, much larger star formation region, imaged by Spitzer Space Telescope in 2005 in Cassiopeia, which is designated W5 and usually called "Mountains of Creation".[2]
Combination of an X-ray image from the Chandra observatory with Hubble's Pillars image have shown that X-ray sources (from young stars) do not coincide with the pillars, instead randomly dotting the area.[1] This suggests that star formation may have peaked approximately one million years ago in the Eagle Nebula and any protostars in the pillar EGGs are not yet hot enough to emit X-rays.[citation needed]
In early 2007 scientists using the Spitzer discovered evidence that the Pillars were likely destroyed by a supernova explosion about 6,000 years ago, but the light showing the new shape of the nebula will not reach Earth for another millennium.
From Wikipedia

Bagged by: Debra Holton
Method: 2m Faulkes Telescope (Debra leads a School Project)

Please note that all pictures are copyrighted and may not be used without the explicit permission of the owner.

Bagged by: Andrew Wilson
Method: LX200 8", MX916 CCD
Please note that all pictures are copyrighted and may not be used without the explicit permission of the owner.

Copyright © 2005-2017 Crayford Manor House Astronomical Society Dartford, Kent.Registered Charity Number 1156678. All rights reserved. No part of this website may be reproduced.
Page edited 4 times. Last edit by - SimonTelescopium SimonTelescopium on Mar 23, 2010 1:39 pm. This site contains 560 pages