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Eagle Nebula (M16)
Greg Gorham

Eagle Nebula

Philippe Loys de Chéseaux recorded the first discovery of the cluster in his 1745-46. Then on June 3rd, 1764 Charles Messier recorded that the stars were “enmeshed in a faint glow” this has all the signs of a nebula. A nebula has been described as a cloud of gas and dust, these clouds form stars when regions of dust and gas become more densely packed pull in more and more gas and dust. Within this nebula is a tight and relatively young star cluster, a cluster is simply a group of stars that are bound by gravity. This Cluster is near the tail of Serpens.

The picture was taken using luminance, red, green and blue filters. The nebula is transparent and is lit up by the tight cluster above the pillars (the three bands of dust pointing at the tight cluster), the red color points to hydrogen gas. The dark spots in the picture is opaque dust. From the top of the picture to the bottom of the picture is 16 arcmin. Astronomers have said that this formation is about 7,000 light years away from earth. And the distance from top to bottom is 32.7 light years across. The pillars are formed by high winds caused by the cluster, at the top of the pillars are very dense clouds of dust and gas that are not blown away by the solar winds. The close proximity of the cluster and the nebula tells us that this formation is very young, astronomers have estimated only 5.5 million years old.


Rector, T. A., and B. A. Wolpa. Astronomy Picture of the day. Ed. Robert Nemiroff and Jeffy Bonell. NASA, 8 Feb. 2009. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. <>.

Frommert, Harnmut, and Christine Kronberg. Messier 16. SEDS, 13 Aug. 2007. Web. 19 Apr. 2011. <>.

Right Ascension (J2000) 18:18:48
Declination (J2000) -13:47:00
Filters used B (Blue), C (Clear), R (Red), V (Green)
Exposure time per filter B, V, R, C (60s x 5)
Date observed 03/11/2011



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