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The Eagle Nebula (M16) with the Pillars of Creation | by Martin_Heigan
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The Eagle Nebula (M16) with the Pillars of Creation

A cropped image of the Eagle Nebula, with the "Pillars of Creation" visible in the Nebula. The Eagle Nebula is catalogued as Messier 16, M16, or NGC 6611, and also known as the Star Queen Nebula and The Spire. M16 is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens.


The Eagle Nebula is part of a diffuse emission nebula, or H II region, which is catalogued as IC 4703. This region of active current star formation is about 7000 light-years distant. A spire of gas that can be seen coming off the nebula in the north-eastern part is approximately 9.5 light-years or about 90 trillion kilometers long.


Both the "Eagle" and the "Star Queen" refer to visual impressions of the dark silhouette near the center of the nebula, an area made famous as the "Pillars of Creation" photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope. The nebula contains several active star-forming gas and dust regions, including the Pillars of Creation.


The cluster associated with the nebula has approximately 8100 stars, which are mostly concentrated in a gap in the molecular cloud to the north-west of the Pillars.



William Optics Star 71mm f/4.9 Imaging APO Refractor Telescope.

William Optics 50mm Finder Scope.

Garmin SkySync GPS Accessory.

Orion Mini 50mm Guide Scope.

Orion StarShoot Autoguider.

Celestron AVX Mount.

QHYCCD PoleMaster.

Celestron StarSense.

QHY163M Cooled CMOS Monochrome Camera.

QHYCFW2-M-US Filterwheel (7 position x 36mm).



Guiding in Open PHD 2.6.3.

Image acquisition in Sequence Generator Pro.



2 Stage CMOS Cooling

Imaged at -25°C


R = 12 x 180 sec. 16bit FITS.

G = 12 x 180 sec. 16bit FITS.

B = 12 x 180 sec. 16bit FITS.

Ha = 18 x 500 sec. 16bit FITS.


Calibration Frames:

50 x Bias/Offset.

25 x Darks.

20 x Flats & Dark Flats.


Image Acquisition:

Sequence Generator Pro with the Mosaic and Framing Wizard.


Plate Solving: ANSVR Solver via SGP.



Pre-Processing and Linear workflow in PixInsight,

and finished in Photoshop.


Astrometry Info:

View the Annotated Sky Chart for this image.

Center RA, Dec: 274.698, -13.807

Center RA, hms: 18h 18m 47.609s

Center Dec, dms: -13° 48' 23.886"

Size: 49.6 x 35.3 arcmin

Radius: 0.508 deg

Pixel scale: 1.86 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: Up is 97.1 degrees E of N

View this image in the World Wide Telescope.




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Taken on July 23, 2017