M16 = NGC6611 ( 18h 18.8m -13°47´, 6.0 mag. )
This open star cluster in Serpens was discovered by de Cheseaux in 1746 and Messier observed it on June 3, 1764. Associated Eagle Nebula is noticable in amateur telescopes but displays its full splendor only in photographs. This star forming region contains many "elephant trunks" - pilr-like structures created when radiation of young stars encounters clumps of dense dust and gas. Edges of those condensations are evaporating but at that same time they protect gas behind from being excited to glow. M16 is about 9,000 ly distant and measures 70 ly across. Star cluster is noticable in binoculars about 2°30' NWW of g Scuti, however nebula requires a telescope (see finder chart below). Swan Nebula (M17 - visible 2°30' to the South) forms almost equilateral triangle with the above pair.
The above image was taken on June 20, 1998 from Sooke, BC. Cookbook 245 LDC CCD camera was used on Celestron Ultima 8 f6.3 telescope autoguided with Cookbook 211 LDC CCD camera on piggybacked 500mm f8 telephoto lens. Six white exposures (120 sec. each) as well as cyan, magenta and yellow-filtered integrations (3 x 120 sec. each) were processed with AIP4WIN and adjusted in Lab color space using Corel PhotoPaint 8.
North is to the right.
Map created in Guide 7.0 - 7°45' x 7°45'. North is up.
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© Jan Wisniewski