So over the next couple of months on the dark new Moon weekend I’ll try and image as many of these beautiful deep sky objects as I can and share them with you from my Stardust observatory at Leyburn in Australia.
~ The Eagle Nebula M16 in Serpens ~
The Eagle nebula is a diffuse emission nebula and star cluster in the constellation of Serpens (Cauda), it’s a region of star formation with glowing hydrogen gas due to the excitation from ultraviolet radiation emitted by hot young stars embedded in the nebula. The star cluster associated with the nebula is called (NGC 6611).
There are two shapes you can see in this nebula, one is the overall shape that does look like an eagle with its spreading wings but the other shape is in the heart of the nebula where the Star Queen gets it’s name and where the Hubble Space telescope imaged the astounding ‘Pillars of Creation’ area in 1995.
It’s estimated that the distance to M16 is about 6000 light years and its diameter is 35 light years, the estimated age is 2-6 million years old.
The other two open star clusters close to M16 (in the top right) is called Trumpler 32 and the denser star cluster (in the bottom right corner) is called NGC 6605.
I took this image with a Meade 80mm refractor telescope and a Canon 70D camera that was being tracked on top of a larger Meade LX200 10inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope in my observatory.
I managed to capture only 7x3 minute images before the clouds came rolling in, I’ll try and capture this object again next month to obtain a lot more data and a smoother in-depth picture.
For more information about this wonderful area of sky please go to the links below:
NASA’s Hubble Messier Catalog at:
Wikipedia Messier Objects:
Eagle Nebula (M16)
SEDS (The Messier Catalog)
Constellation Maps to help you at IAU (International Astronomical Society)